Bob Tamasy: When Lost, Look For The Right Guide

Monday, May 22, 2017
Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy
Imagine hiking with a group in an unfamiliar forest. You stop to look at something, maybe an intriguing plant, take a few photos, and when you look up, find the group has moved on without you. At first, you’re not worried, but 15-20 minutes later you still can’t find your group. That’s when concern sets in.

Trusting in your sense of direction doesn’t seem to be working, and you’ve wandered into a dead zone where your cell phone is useless. Even though it hurts your pride, you must admit, “I’m lost!” 

Suddenly you hear thrashing nearby. It’s either a wild animal – which might not be a good thing – or another human. Thankfully, it’s a guy who looks as happy to see you as you are to see him.
But then he declares, “Man, am I glad to find you! I’ve gotten turned around and have no idea how to get out of here.” Your smile melts into a frown as you think to yourself, “Great! We’re both lost!”

Last year my wife and I were in New York City and decided to trek across fabled Central Park. Most of its paths, however, curve around rather than heading north and south, or east and west. Soon it became evident we were basically walking in circles. We could see the Manhattan skyline in the distance, but that didn’t help much in determining which path was best to follow.

As other walkers and joggers passed by, we asked a couple of them if we were headed in the right direction. They both nodded their heads and proceeded along their way. Only later did I learn that when you ask New Yorkers for directions, they are either too proud to admit they don’t know, or take the attitude that if you’ve gotten yourself lost, “Too bad, sucker!”

Eventually we wandered out of the park – exiting not far from where we had entered. Moral of the story: If you’re lost, be sure to find the right guide to show you which way to go.

This is a foundational principle spiritually as well. Life at best is confusing, if not confounding, and we find ourselves confronted by many conflicting messages. Who’s right? Who’s wrong? How can we know?

During my earlier years, I explored various ideological alternatives. For a time, I bought into the “it doesn’t matter what you believe, as long as you’re sincere” mantra. I also tried “selective truth,” picking and choosing what I liked from a variety of worldviews. I finally returned to the teaching I’d not only learned in church, but also in public school, in those ancient, archaic days when no one believed you could become permanently scarred by hearing a passage from the Bible or reciting a brief prayer.

Psalm 23, also known as the “shepherd’s psalm,” opens by declaring, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake” (Psalm 23:1-3).

Although I spent many of my early adult years determined to find my own way, it was only when I submitted to God’s leadership and guidance that I could avoid the series of dead ends, road hazards and detours that had been hindering me on my life’s journey.

The next verse in the psalm has proved equally assuring: “Even though I walk in the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you (Lord) are with me, your rod and your staff, they comfort me” (Psalm 23:4). Often the path ahead seems dark, uncertain, even perilous. Trusting God is walking with us, knowing well the route we need to travel, dispels anxiety and fear. That doesn’t mean there won’t be problems along the way, but He will ensure that we pass safely through the “valley,” still on course to carry out His purposes for us.

When Jesus announced to His followers, “I am the way, the truth and the life” (John 14:6), He was asserting there’s no need to consider alternative routes. If we want to be sure to get to where we want to be – even at times when we’re not even sure what the destination is – He’ll get us there, on schedule. 

At one point in His discourse known as the “sermon on the mount,” Jesus warned, “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it” (Matthew 7:13-14).

He was observing that throughout life we’ll encounter a variety of people who claim to be knowledgeable guides, who will insist they know the way. However, there’s only one true, trustworthy GPS for life, which I’ve defined as God’s Positioning System. Jesus has been there, He knows exactly where we need to go, and He’ll be there to welcome us when we arrive.

----

Robert J. Tamasy is a veteran journalist, former newspaper editor and magazine editor. Bob has written hundreds of magazine articles, and authored, co-authored and edited more than 15 books. These include the newly re-published, “Business At Its Best,” “Tufting Legacies,” “The Heart of Mentoring,” and “Pursuing Life With a Shepherd’s Heart.” He edits a weekly business meditation, “Monday Manna,” which is translated into more than 20 languages and distributed via email around the world by CBMC International. To read more of Bob Tamasy’s writings, you can visit his blog, www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com, or his website (now being completed), www.bobtamasy-readywriterink.com. He can be emailed at btamasy@comcast.net.



The Union To Host Guitar Clinic Featuring Songwriter And Guitarist, James Duke

James Duke has toured around the world with Jesus Culture and with many recording artists including Kim Walker- Smith and John Mark McMillian. On Tuesday, July 24, he will make a stop in the Scenic City to host a Guitar Clinic. The clinic will be held at 5 p.m. at the Chattanooga House of Prayer, 3912 Dayton Blvd. in Red Bank.  Registration is $10 and can be completed ... (click for more)

Lee Announces Fultz As New Campus Pastor

Rob Fultz, a 2001 Lee alumnus, has been appointed the new campus pastor for Lee University, effective next month.   “We are fortunate to welcome Rob back to Lee as our new campus pastor,” said Dr. Mike Hayes, vice president for student development at Lee. “He brings a wealth of church leadership experiences and the caring heart of a pastor to the role.”   Pastor ... (click for more)

Red Bank Approves Short Term Vacation Rental Ordinance On Final Reading

The Red Bank Commission passed an ordinance Tuesday night on second and final reading that regulates short term rentals within the city. "Our hands have been tied because of state law," said Mayor John Roberts. Many residents, both for and against allowing these rentals, have come to recent commission meetings appealing to the commissioners for their side of the issue, ... (click for more)

Firefighters Battle 2-Alarm Fire On Workman Road Tuesday Morning

Chattanooga firefighters were dispatched at 6:03 a.m. on Tuesday, to a commercial fire at 400 Workman Road. When the first firefighters arrived on the scene, flames were shooting through the roof and the request was immediately made for a second alarm response. The flames could be seen for miles as a total of 13 fire companies rushed to the scene. The large, two-story ... (click for more)

Bill Lee Is Great For Tennessee

I had the opportunity to meet Bill and Maria Lee at the grand opening of his Chattanooga Campaign HQ. He delivered, what was by most accounts, a showstopper speech at the Statesman’s dinner in Nashville the night before. He and Maria should have been worn out, but if they were, they really showed very little sign of it. His energy level, for a guy that couldn’t have gotten more ... (click for more)

A Successful East Ridge Bake Sale

Saturday's event at the Camp Jordan Pavilion was nothing more than extraordinary, if not history making.  Alongside the threatening eminent domain letters the citizens of East Ridge received, a Union was formed amongst the East Ridge Police Department.  Coming to City Council the night of April 26, I had only one thing I was focused on: eminent domain.  ... (click for more)