compass_pocketFor those who have just completed an educational milestone, the future can be both exciting and a bit frightening. The whirl of graduation events, job applications, moves for further education, marriage and just generally thinking about the future can leave a person feeling slightly dizzy. So much is changing in such a short time!

In the midst of this flurry of events, the adult world insists on giving advice. Graduation speakers, relatives, friends and teachers are usually quite conscientious about sharing what wisdom they have with those they care about. At the risk of being lumped in as just one more voice, let me try to give some biblical counsel for those beginning such a new phase.

In chapter 12 of the Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes it says, “Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come…” (verse 1). It is a very wise thing to remember God while you are still young, before serious mistakes have been made.

Picture a sailboat ready to depart–its decks decorated; its lines trim and bright. On board is a happy crowd of friends with plenty of provisions, but their destination is indefinite. Their only plan is to set sail, catch the breeze and enjoy, hoping eventually to find a harbor somewhere down the coast. Well-wishers on the dock shout things like, “Watch for storms!” or “Post a lookout.”. Others recommend, “Get along.” or “Work together.” At the very last moment before they edge away from the dock, someone says, “Wait. You will need this.”, tossing one of the group a compass as the boat slips away.

To embark on a significant stage of life’s journey with no clear direction is pure foolishness. The Bible is God’s compass, given to us to keep our bearings on our journey. Use it to set your direction and make whatever corrections may be necessary throughout your life. The earlier you use this guide, the more certain you will be to reach the particular destination God has charted for you. Don’t wait for the inevitable storms to use the compass. By then, you may be seriously off course. Most of all, look to the North Star as the sure focal point–trust your life to God through Jesus Christ.

I thank God that someone handed me a compass early in life. I have made my share of mistakes, but by God’s incredible grace, God’s word has always brought me back on course.  For me, it has made all the difference!

Michael Bogart