“We must pay the most careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away.”
Hebrews 2:1 (NIV)
When I looked up the definition of recalibrate, I was given the helpful description of “to calibrate (something) again.” Thanks, Merriam-Webster. But they really came through with a supplemental description from an outside source that put meaning behind the word. “… these systems gradually drift off course so that the navigator periodically needs a fresh point of reference to recalibrate the navigation system. – Stefi Weisburd”
Now we have a definition to build on. Our spiritual systems are calibrated by God. His breath gives us life and His Spirit quickens our souls. We inherently know that we were created by the Creator. This accounts for the human desire to worship. We worship God or we worship idols or we worship self (also an idol). This is an inherent trait in all humans. We are calibrated to love and worship God, but we also have a tendency to drift.
God created us with the ability to choose. He turns us loose to navigate through life and set our own headings. Our souls are calibrated with God as our true north and His presence as our destination. But, being human, we often get off course, the gradual drift sets in. Thankfully, God doesn’t just send us on our way and wish us luck. He gives us a map and compass in the form of the Bible and Holy Spirit. The Bible is our reference manual and the Holy Spirit refreshes our viewpoint so we can get back on course.
The writer of Hebrews knows our tendency to drift and cautions us to pay careful attention to what we hear from God (the previous and next verses make it clear he’s talking about paying attention to God and not other flawed humans). It is so easy to take the path of least resistance and follow along with what society defines as moral, successful, or “true”. But our standard is not a drifting society, it is Jesus.
And this doesn’t apply to just the big questions, but to the small things in our lives that we might consider insignificant. It applies to the work we do, the way we treat others, and even the thoughts we think. Drifting from God’s plan for our lives usually begins with our thoughts.
Just today, I was struggling with my motivation to write. To do the work I needed to do when no one was looking. I procrastinated and wasted time until I began paying attention to what I had heard previously. The Psalms told me what happens to idle hands. I heard what becomes of the sluggard. And finally, after much idleness, I started paying attention. It’s time to get to work. Time to get this ship back on course by searching for a fresh reference point.
It worked. I spent a few minutes with God, wrote out my desires and goals for the future and included a few tasks to get me there. None of those tasks included bingeing TV shows or procrastinating on the important work of writing to you.
So now you know my secret. I’m a closet procrastinator. I have trouble motivating myself when there’s no one checking up on me. And now I’ve committed the writer’s sin of writing too much about myself. I have only one excuse. I want you to learn from my mistakes.
Lessons from a Drifter
- Pay attention to the drift. When your state of mind is leading you away from honoring God in small or big ways, recalibrate.
- Keep your navigational tools close. Bible verses are the stars you navigate by. The Holy Spirit is the wind that powers your sails.
- Trust your Captain. God knows what He’s doing. Jesus walks on water. There is no storm that He won’t lead you through.
- Beware the doldrums (those moments when there is no wind and you feel powerless to move beyond your living room). When you find yourself here, with no motivation to accomplish anything, MOVE. Get off the couch, go for a walk, write in your journal, clean the house. You’ll often find that any type of even semi-constructive movement will kick-start your motivation for the bigger things.
Recalibrating can be simple. The trick is knowing when you need to recalibrate. Imagine sailing the ocean blissfully unaware that your GPS isn’t correctly calibrated. You’ll be miles off course before you know it. But if you keep an eye on your systems, you’ll notice when things don’t seem quite right. Trust that instinct, reset your navigation system, recalibrate by reading God’s Word and having a chat with the Holy Spirit. You’ll be back on track in no time.
Father, thank you for always being our guide in all situations. Help us to pay careful attention to Your Word so that we know when we start drifting. Help us to find our way back to you as we listen to the whispers of the Holy Spirit. You are our trustworthy and faithful Captain. Continue to build our trust in you as we navigate through life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Spread the spark of hope everywhere you go,
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I want to follow Jesus! How do I get started?
“This is how we know that we live in Him and He in us: He has given us of His Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent His Son to be the Savior of the world. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God.
1 John 4:13-15
If you are ready to join the family of God, simply believe and ask. You can choose your own words or pray the prayer below. God hears your heart, simply confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and let the Spirit lead you.
“Father, I want to be yours. Forgive me of my sins. I believe that you sent Your Son, Jesus Christ, to die in my place. I accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior and thank you for the gift of salvation through Him. I invite the Holy Spirit into my heart and surrender my life to You. In Jesus name, Amen.”
Feel free to spend time just talking to God and sharing your heart with Him. Let Him speak to you and listen as He leads you forward into new life. Welcome to the family.
Need to talk or have questions? Feel free to reach out and contact me.