Admiral Byrd, the famous explorer, once found himself about 100 yards away from the safety of his South Pole hut when a sudden blizzard hit. The temperature was several degrees below zero, and the snow was blinding.
There were no landmarks in the white expanse of snow and ice-covered sea that would help him get his bearings. Yet he knew that if he didn’t find the comparative warmth and safety of his hut, he would freeze to death in a matter of minutes.
Admiral Byrd could not see his hut or anything else in the freezing blizzard that would guide him to safety. He knew that he would freeze to death if he didn’t find the shelter of his hut quickly. He also knew that if he struck out blindly, without a central reference point for a sense of direction, he would become hopelessly lost. Refusing to panic, the admiral assessed the situation.
In his hand was a 10-foot pole that he carried with him to probe for holes in the ice as he walked. He struck the pole in the snow and tied his bright-colored scarf to it. Then he began looking for the hut, keeping the pole in sight as a central reference point, knowing that he could always return to it if necessary.
He struck out, first in one direction, then in another, always keeping the pole and scarf in sight. Three times he came back to his point of reference; on the 4th try, he found his hut. His life was saved.
Hopefully, none of us will ever find ourselves in the same situation that Admiral Byrd was in. But think about it. Are there not many times in your life when a crisis occurs; when you just don’t know which way to turn? At these times, you need a point of reference; a sense of direction.