In a recent conversation that Tyler Goold and I had in Episode 12 of our podcast, Richest Men In Town, we discussed a question that I would love to pose to all of us…in our lives right now are we driven or are we drifting? What do I mean by that? Let me clarify with a couple of quick thoughts/examples from the scriptures.
To illustrate the Drift, let’s look at the Children of Israel. In the Old Testament, we know that because of their disobedience and murmuring against the plans of their God, the children of Israel wandered or drifted about in the wilderness for 40 years. It does not get any more “drifting” than that.
In The Book of Mormon, we also see examples of drifting or wandering. The first one that comes to mind is found in Lehi’s dream in 1 Nephi chapter 8. Check out verses 31-32:
31 And he also saw other multitudes feeling their way towards that great and spacious building.
32 And it came to pass that many were drowned in the depths of the fountain; and many were lost from his view, wandering in strange roads.
Now let’s compare the drifters with the driven. Two powerful examples of being driven also come from The Book of Mormon:
In Ether 6:7-8 we read of the Jaredites:
7 And it came to pass that when they were buried in the deep there was no water that could hurt them, their vessels being tight like unto a dish, and also they were tight like unto the ark of Noah; therefore when they were encompassed about by many waters they did cry unto the Lord, and he did bring them forth again upon the top of the waters.
8 And it came to pass that the wind did never cease to blow towards the promised land while they were upon the waters; and thus they were driven forth before the wind.
9 And they did sing praises unto the Lord; yea, the brother of Jared did sing praises unto the Lord, and he did thank and praise the Lord all the day long; and when the night came, they did not cease to praise the Lord.
10 And thus they were driven forth;
Also we have another account of being driven to the promised land:
In 1 Nephi 18:8 we read…
8 And it came to pass after we had all gone down into the ship, and had taken with us our provisions and things which had been commanded us, we did put forth into the sea and were driven forth before the wind towards the promised land.
Both of these accounts speak of being driven by a divine wind towards a promised land, a land promised to them by a loving Heavenly Father who wants them to be happy. So it is with us. There are promised lands for us in this life. Think of the dreams and righteous desires that we have in our hearts. Our God knows our hearts and minds and He is willing to drive us to them.
This much I know, and I have learned it the hard way…we do not drift to the promised land in our lives. No one has ever drifted to good health, self reliance, or a firm testimony of the Savior and His gospel. We do not drift to charitable service, 25 year anniversaries, Employee of the Month parking spaces, and full funerals.
The world that you and I live in is in a constant state of motion with things acting and being acted upon. Driving forces and drifting forces. The scriptures paint a pretty clear picture of our latter day world. The chilling words of the Savior come to my mind when he said in Matthew 24:24…
24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, ifit were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.
Satan, the enemy of all righteousness is using whatever tool he can to tempt the children of God to commit sin. He will drive us to sin. He will also tempt us to drift away from God, slowly and by degrees until we look around and are lost. There is real spiritual danger in drifting. There is also an appeal to drifting. It appeals to us because it is easy and pleasing to our natural man. To drift requires nothing. It requires no effort, we can simply allow ourselves to move to and from with every wind and wave. To drift does not necessarily mean we drift in sin, many times it is a drift of distractions away from something eternally significant towards vain and insignificant worldly pursuits.
On the other hand, we have a loving Heavenly Father who has proven to be a constant driving force in our lives, if we let Him. He has driven faithful children to promised lands in the past, and He will drive us according to His plan for us, if we allow Him to. Unlike drifting, being driven by God requires work. Work like exercising faith, repenting of our sins, obedience to commandments, and correcting our course through regular sacrament and renewing our covenants. To be driven, we must be humble and have a reliance, a trust, and a dependence on the source of the wind, that being God. Oh the places we will go if we will allow Him who knows all things to drive us.
So, are we driven or drifting?