THE NAUTICAL CHART--The mariner, as the pilot or traveler, needs a map to give information needed to go from port to port. Most people are familiar with the road map and its help on trips from place to place, but are not aware that the boatsman has a similar map that gives details of the water as well as the land. In fact, one of the most important aids to navigation is the map or nautical chart. Before leaving the dock, the chart can be consulted in the plotting of a course to any given destination.

The nautical chart also gives the depth of water in all areas and identifies the sand bars and coral or rock areas. Channels are marked, giving the location of beacons or buoys. Other markings show obstructions as sunk boats, barges, planes, submerged pilings, stakes, oil platforms, etc. Anchoring information is also shown to give the location of underwater cables and poor bottom. No serious boatman would spend time out at sea without his charts. They provide the needed information to make sea travel a joyous experience and/or a profitable income. The chart also helps in times of emergency in pinpointing a location with longitude and latitude lines. No matter where you go, though, it seems that you meet those who know it all--those who feel no need of such helps and who choose to find their own way around. This can be done to a point on land, but the water is a different story. Just one small bad move could mean the destruction of your vessel and even your life. Many a foolish mariner ends up as just another "x" on the map to show another bit of wreckage.

The nautical chart reminds us of those in religious circles. Even though God has given us the Bible, the perfect chart showing the correct way of life and a future home in heaven, no one seems to consult it to see if they are on course. Strange, isn't it? Many times people are seen driving around on land and sea and are apparently lost, but too proud to ask directions. Because of man's sin it has put him off course and into many hurtful situations. Because of pride, people today still will not look to God for help. Proverbs 16:18, "Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall." When is the last time you looked at God's "map"? Many religions have come to surface today to give their views and print their maps that supposedly lead to some good port, but God's map will one day chart their wreckage! "There is a way that seemeth right unto man, but the end thereof are the ways of death" (Proverbs 14:12). Consult God's chart book for safe navigation! "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path"(Psalm 119:105).     Write us for other free helpful literature.

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