Daily Devotional for Small Group Discussion: Finding Our Way (Again)
- The author’s pilot friend discloses that “automatic pilot” is actually a program of continual recalibration. How does this information change your understanding of the metaphor of “being on auto-pilot”?
- What direction are you praying to find—or perhaps praying to follow—in this Advent season?
- Advent’s destination (the birth of Christ) is known from the start. How do you experience journeys in which the destination is not known?
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; that the Lord may teach us the way and that we may walk in God’s paths.” – Micah 4:2 (NRSV)
“Being on automatic pilot,” said my friend Gary, “never means you’ll go in a straight line to your destination. If it did, you’d crash.” Gary knew that firsthand since he was a pilot. “You set your destination,” he continued, “but throughout the flight, the program continually recalibrates the route. Just like a human pilot, the automatic pilot has to take into consideration all the unexpected events—wind shears, storms, changes in barometric pressure.”
“You never know what’s between you and your destination,” Gary said. “Whether it’s a computer or yourself, a good pilot needs ongoing direction to get back on track.”
The prophet Micah never piloted a plane, but he would have known exactly what Gary was talking about. When the people strayed far from God’s path—each walking “in the name of its god”—Micah called them back to the mountain of the Lord, where God would teach them again. When they lived in fear of a foreign army, Micah gave them God’s vision of swords beaten into plowshares and spears into pruning hooks.
“Climb that mountain,” Micah said, “and come back to God.”
“Recalibrate and you’ll get through the storm,” my pilot friend Gary advised.
“Draw near,” Advent calls, “and you’ll find your way back to Bethlehem.”
Guide us, O God, on Advent’s journey. Help us find our way back to you. Amen.