This is the first installment in a 3 part series called “You are Here” We’ll dive into your physical location, relational location and your spiritual location. Tackling some pretty deep stuff while doing some biblical comparisons.
The other day I went for a hike with my daughter. Out in the middle of the woods was a post with a map of the trail with a large “X” and the passage “you are here”. I found the map very helpful, I knew how far I was from the beginning of the trail and I knew how much further I had to go to complete the trail. My physical location, my “X” on the map, my GPS location was easy to see even as I stood in the middle of thick woods with hills, streams and rocks. There was only one other person in the world, my daughter who was with me, that knew exactly where I was. But I knew, I knew my physical location, and I never lost track of it. (The alternative to losing my physical location in the woods could have led to some really scary moments. Being lost in the woods without a trail to follow or no compass and without being prepared could have led to some big problems.)
How many times in your life have you lost your physical location? You know the next line, God has never lost your location, he knows exactly where you’re at. And I could talk about that all day, but there is more to your physical location than you think.
There are the usual places you can be found physically, home, work, an event, church, in transit or maybe a hand full of other places. Your physical location tells a lot about you though. Where you spend your time is where your heart lays. I like that word “spend”, you spend your time, like a currency you spend it on the things that are important. I spend my time at work, I spend my time at home, I spend time on the golf course, I need to spend more time with the wife, I need to spend more time with my church. Time and your physical location, to the things you spend your currency on are so crucial to how you live your life as a Christian.
I’ve been a student of the thought, your actions should match your goals. If your goal is to spend your currency on your family then your physical location should be at home, not at happy hour. A lesson hard learned in my life. My goal in life was to make it big, be a big shot chef, make tons of money and become famous. My actions followed that goal to a tee. My long days at work, determination and blind dedication to my career led me to my goal. I spent my currency on an idol that did not bare the fruit I thought I wanted. The cost was much higher than the currency that I could spent. This is called moral bankruptcy. My goal, and the downfall of, led to embarrassment and loss of dignity. My goal changed to drowning the thought of my last goal in alcohol. The goal of finding the best happy hour in town led to a physical location far away from my family and God.
I think about firefighters and police. There physical location can change in a blink of an eye. The emergency call comes in and they have to rush to a physical location that is in turmoil. In life we often let our physical location get so far out of hand that we need to call 911 to get the help we need. In biblical terms our 911 calls come in the form of desperate prayers. We often wait until the house is on fire before we pray for rain. If we would have addressed the bad wiring first then the fire would have never happened. Where are the bad wires in your heart?
In my life the bad wiring was the goals I had set for myself that led to a physical location that was far away from my family. A problem easily fixed with a call to an electrician (God).
One of my tattoos reads “fight for your families, for your sons and for your daughters, your wives and your homes.” Nehemiah 4:14 or at least the last part of it. It’s a reminder and a promise to set my goals and eyes on God first and fight for my family before all else. To make my goals and physical location match, that’s the meaning behind it.
There is a trail map that was set up by God before you were born. The map has a moving pointer that reads “you are here” and it moves as you move through life. Even through the thick trees and the rough parts of the trails, through the steep hills you have to trek up to the rivers you have to cross, God has formed every inch of that trail to your plan.
My definition of Moral Bankruptcy: “When the currency of your physical time has run out and there is still a moral cost to be paid.”
Let’s take a look at an example from the Old Testament, the story of Kind David.
2 Samuel 11 writes – 1 It came about in the spring, at the time kings go out, David sent Joab and his servants with him and all of Israel. They ravaged all of the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah, but David was remaining in Jerusalem. 2 It happened late one afternoon that David got up from his bed and walked about on the roof of the king’s house, and he saw a woman bathing on her roof. Now the woman was very beautiful.3 David sent and inquired about the woman, and someone said, “Is this not Bathsheba the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?”4 Then David sent messengers and took her, and she came to him, and he slept with her. (Now she had been purifying herself from her uncleanness.) And she returned to her house. 5 The woman became pregnant, and she sent and told David, and she said, “I am pregnant.”6 So David sent to Joab, “Send Uriah the Hittite to me.” So Joab sent Uriah to David. 7 Uriah came to him, and David asked how Joab and the army fared and how the war was going.8 David said to Uriah, “Go down to your house, and wash your feet.” So Uriah went out from the king’s house, and a gift from the king went out after him. 9 But Uriah slept at the entrance of the king’s house with all the servants of his master and did not go down to his house. 10 They told David, “Uriah did not go down to his house.” David said to Uriah, “Are you not coming from a journey? Why did you not go down to your house?” 11 Uriah said to David, “The ark and Israel and Judah are living in the booths; and my lord Joab and the servants of my lord are camping on the surface of the open field; and I, shall I go to my house to eat and to drink and to sleep with my wife? By your life and the life of your soul, I surely will not do this thing.” 12 David said to Uriah, “Remain here today, and tomorrow I will send you away.” So Uriah remained in Jerusalem on that day and the next. 13 David invited him, and he ate and drank in his presence so that he became drunk, and he went out in the evening to lie on his bed with the servants of his lord, but he did not go down to his house. 14 And it happened in the morning, David wrote a letter to Joab, and he sent it by the hand of Uriah. 15 He had written in the letter, “Put Uriah in the front, in the face of the fiercest fighting, then draw back from behind him so that he may be struck down and die.”
The story of King David and his affair the Bathsheba is a perfect example of Moral Bankruptcy. Throughout the story a “physical location” becomes crucial on how the events played out. You’ve read the story so I won’t go into it too far but imagine if the physical locations changed in this story. If David wouldn’t have walked onto the roof, if Bathsheba wouldn’t have been bathing on hers, so on and so forth.
I encourage and challenge you to think about your physical location and how it pertains to your goals. And in reverse I challenge you to think about your goals and how your physical location is either helping or hindering you from achieving it. May God lead you down the path he intended for you and you only. And may your eyes be open to the sign that says “You are Here”