In this week’s Monday Minute, Muriel shares how important having Jesus as our point of reference is for military life.

Where is Your Point of Reference

by Muriel Gregory


Some memories will always stay with you. One of the perks of being a Navy brat is growing up by the coast. I was a six-year-old. With all the carelessness of a child, I was enjoying the ocean and the waves. My friends and I were laughing and playing, but our laughter subsided when we noticed my mom frantically waving at us and my dad racing in our direction. Unbeknownst to us, a strong current had been moving us, and we were drifting straight into sharks’ territory.

We need a point of reference.

If you have ever swum in the ocean, you know that you can find yourself yards away from where you started. Without a point of reference on the shore, you can easily be lost. I have swum in many oceans in my life–college, work, marriage, parenthood–and that same principle applies. I am lost if I do not keep my eyes on a point of reference.


Then Jesus said, “Once there was a father with two sons. The younger son came to his father and said, ‘Father, don’t you think it’s time to give me the share of your estate that belongs to me?” So the father went ahead and distributed among the two sons their inheritance. Shortly afterward, the younger son packed up all his belongings and traveled off to see the world. He journeyed to a far-off land where he soon wasted all he was given in a binge of extravagant and reckless living.

Luke 15:11-13 (TPT)


In ancient times asking for the inheritance was the same as saying, “I wish you were dead already.” The father’s response is thus all the more incredible as he divides the estate. In the original Greek language, it says that he gave his life. The younger son takes off and lives recklessly. It was all fun and games until the money ran dry and basic needs were not met. 

The son decides to return home and vows to humble himself to his father by asking only for a servant’s portion. 

So the young son set off for home. From a long distance away, his father saw him coming, dressed as a beggar, and great compassion swelled up in his heart for his son, who was returning home. So the father raced out to meet him. He swept him up in his arms, hugged him dearly, and kissed him over and over with tender love.

Luke 15:20 (TPT)


Oh, the love of the father! No matter how far we drift, he welcomes us with open arms and great compassion. 


“Prone to wander, Lord I feel it; prone to leave the God I love,” sings the hymnist. My heart is prone to drift, and when I do not keep Jesus as my point of reference, I find myself swimming with sharks. Like my earthly dad saved me on that fateful day, my heavenly father reaches out, again and again, to bring me home. I may have purchased a one-way ticket, but Jesus’ blood guaranteed the return one. 


Life will cause us to drift. Fear, insecurities, anger, disappointments, hurts, complacency–the list of currents that take us away is never-ending. Reality sucks sometimes. As the young Calvin once said to his animated tiger, “Reality continues to ruin my life!” When my mind takes me down that path, I remind myself to turn my gaze to the shore, look for my point of reference, and go back to where I belong.


Move Out


Read:        Peter shouted out, “Lord, if it’s really you, then have me join you on the water!”

“Come and join me,” Jesus replied. So Peter stepped out onto the water and began to walk toward Jesus. But when he realized how high the waves were, he became frightened and started to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he cried out. Jesus immediately stretched out his hand and lifted him up and said, “What little faith you have! Why would you let doubt win?”

Matthew 14:28-31 (TPT)


Reflect:    What kept Peter from getting to Jesus? How fast did Jesus respond to his call for help? 


Respond:    What doubts and fears keep you from living the abundant life Jesus promised (John 10:10)? Identify them and pray for God’s help. 



Lord, thank you for being a compassionate and loving father. Thank you for being that point of reference in my life. Please help me keep my eyes on you lest I drift too far. Amen.