[Originally published as Back On Course]
So, my very dear friends, don’t get thrown off course. James 1:16–18 The Message
As the fall migrations progress, there are often birds that go off course and show up in odd areas where they are not normally observed. Even though they may be a common bird elsewhere, birders often delight in seeing these vagrants and will travel miles and miles to add them to their checklists. These birds may have drifted off course from storms or strong weather patterns or by following the wrong flock (“abmigration”).
Earlier this summer, I was delighted when I found a Least Tern flapping in graceful circles over the retention pond behind my office in Walton County, Georgia… about 260 miles from the coast! What a delight to have the first and only eBird sighting for my county! Yes, I could have simply driven four hours east and seen as many Least Terns as I wanted. But this drifter was a delight to be seen so far off course.
In our Christian walk, we, too, can become spiritual “vagrants.” We might neglect Bible reading or prayer, or prolonged absence from in-person church attendance might leave us a tad off course. But when a Christian strays, there is no joy… except with Satan! He’s just waiting to add another drifting Christian to his list.
So watch your step, friends. Make sure there’s no evil unbelief lying around that will trip you up and throw you off course, diverting you from the living God. Hebrews 3:12–14 The Message
I have come as a light to shine in this dark world, so that all who put their trust in me will no longer wander in the darkness. John 12:46