There was a study done back in 2007 that discovered that people really do walk in circles when they’re lost. What’s worse is that, in the right conditions, we wouldn’t even know we’re doing it. Summer before my freshman year of college, my friend and I found that out the hard way.
After graduating high school, a friend and I really got into hiking. We started out by finding a few local trails and going in our spare time. However, neither of us had any outdoor experience. We couldn’t tell you the difference between different types of trees or plants. We didn’t know how to start a fire from scratch (but that didn’t stop us from exhausting all our efforts to try). We didn’t even have a compass to help us navigate—we figured we would find a way back to the car eventually. One foggy Saturday morning, we ventured out to a local state park, and wanting to experience a real adventure, we veered from the trail and started carving out our own path.
About two hours into our hike we started noticing the same landmarks over and over again. There’s that same pile of rocks we passed 45 minutes ago. There’s that same fallen tree in our way again. Unknowingly, we had spent the last 2 hours walking in small circles. We. Were. Lost. Eventually, we stumbled our way back to the trail and made it back to the trailhead, but upon doing so we ran into a park ranger. As complete hiking novices, we asked him if he had any tips on how to avoid walking in circles. His advice was simple — ”perception is everything.”
Jan Souman’s 2007 study discovered that if you have a focal point while walking, like the Sun or the Moon, you can travel fairly straight. But if you’re walking under low-visibility conditions without any sort of guide, you’re almost guaranteed to walk in circles. His study found that those who walked blindfolded ended up walking in circles with a diameter as small as 66 feet.
Our perception of how the events in our life unfold is determined by our focal point. It can be easy to allow the events in life to cause us to spiral and walk in circles. If our gaze is fixed on a singular point, we can continue to walk straight.
When it comes to fighting for your brother, you want to make sure you’re walking with the right people and that you’re actively becoming the right person for the guys walking next to you. The best way to fight for your brother is to point them back to the ultimately focal point constantly. Show them passages like Colossians 3:1-3 or Acts 16, where Paul and Silas are thrown in jail but choose to sing instead of surrender. Point them to Hebrews 10, Proverbs 17, or Romans 8:14-16 and actually fight for their walk, fight for their vision, fight for them to keep their eyes on the only true focal point.
Here’s the bottom line, you won’t ever be able to fight for your brothers unless you are locked on the right focal point yourself. When my friend and I were lost, neither of us could help the other because we had both lost our way. If you want to truly fight for your brother, start by fixing your eyes upward and then guide and guard those men around you.
Kevin + the Fight Club Team