By: Mike white
November 4, 2021
My chest tighten, my heart began to race, I turned from side to side looking for my escape route. I had just realized I was lost in the woods. I was so scared I could taste the adrenaline in my mouth. All I wanted to do was run, but I didn't know where to go.
I was 12 when this happened. I was with my dad hunting deer down in the Hill Country of Texas. I had wandered away from camp while "exploring". I had my head down hoping to find an arrowhead as I went from one cool thing to another, a turkey feather, deer droppings, a cool piece of wood and arrowheads that turned into leaves and pointed rocks.
Realizing the shadows were growing longer and the day was getting shorter, I looked up to start my way back to camp. That's when it hit me. I had no clue which direction to go to get back to camp, I was lost!
Having spent most of my early life in the woods, I knew to push down my fear and stay calm. I stood still for a few minutes and just looked and listened. Right directly, I heard a familiar sound, my Uncle Punt's cackling laugh. I followed his laugh until I could hear the buzz of camp and followed those voices on into camp. When ask where I had been I just replied, "exploring" with a shrug of my shoulders. I didn't see a reason to let on I had been lost. As the only kid in camp, I got razzed enough already.
If you are lost in a vast expanse of wilderness and have no clue where you are or maybe you have twisted an ankle or broke your leg, your survival changes are probably best if you just wait for rescue to come.
But no matter your circumstances, start with the basics...STOP.
1. Stop. Sit down. Don’t panic. Stay where you are.
2. Think. What do you know about your situation and location? The US Forest Service advises, “Do not move at all until you have a specific reason to take a step.”
3. Observe. Gather information that can help you figure out where you are. Do you have a map and compass? Are there signs labeling trail intersections?
4. Plan. Consider possible courses of action, and choose one. Maybe you should continue down the path, or turn back the way you came. If you are injured or night is falling, it may be best to stay where you are.
Most every hunter gets lost at one time or another. And, like the Boy Scouts say, it's better to be prepared. Before you head into the wild, you should always;
1. Tell somebody where you’re going. For a big trip, send detailed information to several people. For a quick stroll in the woods, at least text one friend or family Member to let them know where you’re headed.
2. Bring essential survival gear, things like water, high carb food like a granola bar or two, packable first-aid kit, a flashlight, knife and if it's cold, an emergency blanket.
3. Bring your phone (plus a backup battery) Being able to communicate with someone might just save your life. If you're going in to the backwoods or anywhere you
don't get a signal, consider investing in a Sat-Phone.
Believe this, I spent30 plus years lost, lost and alone. As a young man, I thought I was in control of not only my path but my destiny. Nothing could have been further from the truth. Following my path didn't lead where I thought it would, where it led me was to an unhappy, lonely, unfulfilled life,
Luckily, I was rescued. When I finally admitted to myself I was lost, just like being in the wild and lost, I panicked, my mind screamed, "how do I get out of here!". I wanted to run, but where to?
My rescue began when a "guide" happened upon me. Some of my friends had told this guy that I might be lost and he cared enough to come out and find me and tell me about the path I could take to be rescued. He told me about the path to Jesus Christ and his Grace.
That same night, on the end of my fishing pier, I called out to be rescued. And I was. I prayed a simple prayer admitting to Jesus that I was a sinner and that I wanted to repent of these sins. I ask Him to open my heart and come in to it. I prayed to Him saying that I believed that he had died for my sins and that he was raised from the dead.
Right there on that rickety old dock, my life was radically change. I knew that I had been saved. Now this doesn't mean that everything has been downhill and shady since that night but that's ok, God doesn't promise an uneventful journey, only safe passage.
If you are lost like I was and would like Jesus to rescue you, all you need to do is say a simple prayer. It doesn't have to be fancy. The salvation prayer is not a ritual based on specific words, it's about the power of truly committing your life to Christ as your Savior and Lord. In your prayer just;
Ø Acknowledge in your heart that and then confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord.
Ø Confess that you believe that Jesus died for your sins and was raised three days later.
Ø Tell Jesus that you repent of your sins.
Brother, I will tell you, I always believed I was too lost to be saved. That wasn't true for me and it's not for you. There is no one so lost that Jesus wont rescue and save them. That's the great thing about Jesus, he came for guys like you and me and sacrificed himself to cover the cost of our salvation.