I read a story recently about a plane that crashed into a mountain because the pilot, while on approach to an airport, unknowingly followed the wrong navigational beacon. The cockpit instruments told him his true position, but he kept flying off course for over a minute–until it was too late. Post crash analysis confirmed: the pilot had not noticed a one-degree-per-second turn to the right. The autopilot was dialed to the wrong navigational aid.
There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.Proverbs 14:12
The story above brings to mind the error of the Pharisees and Sadducees in the New Testament. They took God’s law and added their own rules to it. And just like the story of the pilot, following the wrong navigational beacon led to disaster.
Now, to my own story of getting off course from Christ. For most of my adult life I’ve struggled with social anxiety; last year, after suffering two panic attacks in as many weeks, I sought relief through mindfulness meditation.
Sitting quietly, one chooses a focal point–like the breath–and keeps coming back to it when distracted. The idea is to let your thoughts (good or bad) float by like clouds while you observe with curiosity. The result is like pushing a pause button on life, and it really helped with my anxiety.
I downloaded a couple of meditation apps, read some great books by mindfulness experts, and participated in live-streamed offerings. But the more I delved into mindfulness, which is rooted in Buddhism, the more I realized the navigational beacon of my teachers was Buddha, not Jesus Christ.
It dawned on me, I was taking a one-degree-per-second turn away from the Living God, inadvertently setting my auto pilot on the wrong flight path. Thankfully, I listened to the Holy Spirit and got back on course with Christ.
Jesus answered, “I am the way the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”John 14:6
I still meditate occasionally, but now I keep in mind where the true airport is!
For a different look at this same subject, please see my post, What Time is It?