When the Maps Run Out (#655)

Brad was out of town this week, so I'm filling in with a podcast I recorded last week with a good friend on my recent stay in Charlotte, NC. Jeff Andrechyn is a Captain for American Airlines and is especially captured by the sense of adventure that comes from following God, especially as he leads us beyond the maps others have made and into the uncharted frontier of his unique work in each of us. What inspired this thought was a Ken Burns documentary on the Lewis and Clark expedition, though Jeff assures me he uses maps when he flies for American. So many try to find a relationship with God by following the principles and guidelines of others. While they can be helpful, Jesus will invite you beyond the experiences of others into a journey of growing dependence on his voice. At the end they also discuss how true elders encourage rather than discourage that journey.

Podcast Notes:
Lewis and Clark by Ken Burns
Frontier Thesis by Turner
The latest news from our project in Kenya


  1. “When the maps run out” is awesome! I listened to it twice back to back! God bless you for being real!

    • LaVerne

      Robert Browning said “A mans reach should exceed his grasp or what is heaven for ?

  2. When I listened to this podcast, “When the Maps Run Out” the message Wayne Jacobsen and Jeff Andrechyn convey is more than encouragement, it’s transformational.
    In this world of legitimizing legalism, we need to know that no matter where we are on our journey, following the path to the letter or completely off course, Jesus is with us.
    As we all stand at our individual forks in the roads we travel daily thank you for reminding us and thank you both for this message.

    • Alan

      I believe we find Jesus “off course” more often. A storm pushed me hundreds of miles into the gulf the other night and when lightning lit the sky it was beyond beautiful… I knew he was the one who brought me out there!

  3. This podcast is great. I’m going to listen to it again, no doubt just for the fun and adventure. Love the images that came up for me. Just beautiful and it is the truth. What I love best about it is it welcomes us into new space. We all experience the bottom falling out in one way or another in our lives. I really enjoyed Jeff’s response..fresh air and water awaits us. The bottom falling out is a good thing.
    The bottom fell out of our lives about 5 years ago. It was painful. The worst pain I have experienced in my life so far. It took time to walk through it, quite a bit of time. I could not identify this as a good thing at the time, but I look back and am grateful. We were totally overwhelmed from every direction. Good thing we were or I think we would have attempted to manage it. I love Wayne’s comments about an elder being a gift. We didn’t need people telling us what to do or peppering us with a million questions. We needed care that’s for sure. Compassion, understanding, encouragement and time. Just to know someone cares and is praying for you was huge.
    This is the story God calls us to. Draws us into. A narrative filled with goodness, truth and beauty to live out day by day and share with others.
    Thanks Jeff and Wayne.

    • Pat

      12 years the bottom fell out for me too. I had a medical issue that grounded me and at the same time one of my kids went off the rails. My identity was so wrapped up in being an airline pilot and “great dad” and once God removed them (thank God) i found abundant life in Him and I met people and went places I wound never had experienced otherwise. CS Lewis says “why are dark places holy places.” Jesus sometimes dismantles something’s to move into a more spacious experience.

  4. I like to hear “where my wife is that is my home” I feel that way with my family..,they are my home and I also believe that about God…He is my home even more than heaven. Years ago He was giving me the revelation He is my home Psalm 90 “You O LORD have been our dwelling place for generations”
    He was leading our family out of structured regular meetings and I in ignorance or bullheadness was determined I needed to serve in the local church it was my duty….well that backfired and thankfully led us to where He was leading us the whole time out of structured regular way of meeting for church. It was unknown territory for us but It’s been an incredible freeing journey, experiencing His love and abundant blessings.
    Wayne was also an elder to us when leaving as I had emailed about judgment we received from pastors…Wayne thank you for being so down to earth to email back someone you don’t know to help them as a elder in the body of Christ!
    I’ve also been able to experience and learn what seems like God giving us options and choices…instead of saying “this is the job that is My will” it’s “what do you want to do? Where do you want to go?” Two years ago we made a choice between two job offers that really seemed like God letting us choose.
    At this very time we are again needing to choose for job location as we sense Him leading us to move on…praying for His best for our family:).

    • Victoria

      Even the most extreme explorers are not really “going out” but rather “back.” They are in search of that intimacy we once knew in the garden. Explorers are look for God and I believe all our journeys are leading us home to Him. I honestly believe Heaven is a further exploration into His goodness. I loved the conclusion you came to regarding your job “which way do you want to go.” This is such an affirming thing for Father to do because it shows His love and belief in us as sons and daughters.

    • Victoria

      Even the most extreme explorers are not “going out” but rather “going back.” The blue print of intimacy in the garden is written in our spirits and explorers are in search of it. This is the journey we are all on… back home to Him. I love how Father affirmed you on your job choice and which way do you want to go! This is His way of showing us how proud and how much he loves us.

    • I appreciate the kind words of both Jeff on the podcast, and yours here, Victoria. I love that my life or words have had so much impact on your lives. I think it’s important to point out, though, that I don’t do what I do for people as an “elder” to them. I do it as a friend or brother, just looking to encourage. That’s not because I have some kind of fake humility thing going. But I do think it is easier to be a gift to someone one when your words come not with the pressure to have people embrace them, but with simple wisdom that makes them want to.

  5. I really enjoyed this podcast and would love hearing Jeff Andreychen more if you have him back on again. Just curious on a book recommendation for the Lewis and Clark adventure. It looks like Ken Burns is just in dvd form? Thanks again.

    • Haha Nancy we think Wayne should have us back too. I’d love to do a podcast on the Apollo Space program keeping with the idea of exploration. Nobody can beat Brad but a little variety from a normal guy is a good thing 🙂 Please look at Steven Ambrose book Undaunted Courage about the Lewis and Clark expedition.

  6. Just wanted to say thankyou for this podcast! It was good to hear from other “elders ” out there sharing there experience and i think there may be alot of us out there that just need to have a sit down with someone who has the heart and spirit youall expressed … So to any of you that are willing… Just invite someone to coffee÷) Patrick

    • Patrick

      The best elders I’ve come across are those who have lived valiantly (wins and losses) and have the time to listen to your story and speak into it. The best elders are those who have moved beyond their maps and lived to tell about it. I trust guys who have been to hell and back and might even walk with a limp. Mostly all these men were never “ordained” by local church’s but rather ordained by God.

  7. Thank you, guys. There were a lot of nuggets in this podcast. One thing I’ve noticed over the past years is that there are a lot of people of our vintage who are working through a “midlife unraveling” as Brene Brown calls it. I grew up believing that God would honor my ‘faithfulness’ to the principles I had adopted from a child. And that Jesus’ life was all about the same thing. But my own unraveling has revealed that there is no love or relationship or personhood in a principle, no matter how righteous it might appear. Somehow Jesus managed to shed his own strictly religious Judaic upbringing and had adopted a decidedly unique perspective by the time those who walked with him would document his life and sayings. He never claimed to do what was right. Instead, he said, “I do what I see my Father doing, and I say what I hear my Father saying.” That’s a whole different paradigm for living.

    I am agreeing with what you said in this podcast, Jeff, that every human being must go through a process of being freed from their false self at some time or other. Most of us have the opportunity to experience this during our time here on earth. Scripture is full of stories of people who lived through something similar: Abraham, Jacob, Paul, and even Jesus. But only Jesus’ was completed during his lifetime, so that he could go on to complete OUR transformation in the cross and resurrection.

    The addictive habit of following principles is extremely difficult to give up. Especially since they are the backbone of the false self I constructed and came to embrace. For me, Truth exposes the fake. Truth and Love are the same person. Apparently, God is not who I think he is, as I am not who I think I am. The false impressions and misinterpretations of identity are peeled away, one by one until only the True remains: Father and Child of God. Only God can make a believer out of me, that this is the only eternal relational reality that matters. Isn’t this what was declared at Jesus’ baptism?

    We come to depend on our false self; it is familiar and comfortable to us. It is a deep blessing to realize that your past ways of doing and being did not work. We were built to dwell in the Child-to-Father reality. To hear his voice and respond to it. To walk by trust and not by sight. To walk in the light as he does. This is the frontier you spoke of. It’s an adventure that is uncharted and risky and you don’t know where you are going until you get there.

    • Craig

      I’m reading you response to everyone I know. I want to start with your adherence to principals as a child. It seems we grow up learning the law and those that do stay away from addictions and trouble at large but eventually when we meet Jesus and he gives us permission to throw out lots of those principles for a higher life. You got right to the heart of the matter of learning to navigate when your maps run out by showing us how Jesus lived “I do nothing unless my Father asked me to do it… I say nothing unless my Father tells me to say it.” Learning the way of the Spirit does not come easy for us “principal keepers” so Jesus in His infinite love for us let’s our lives fall apart so we look beyond them. Paul is a perfect example as you stated.

      I love your idea of Truth and Love being the same person. And your idea that there is way more to God than you ever imagined and there is more to you also. There is always more. May you continue to explore both.

  8. Jeff
    Thank you for responding. You said, those that “grow up learning the law … stay away from addictions and trouble at large.” We don’t. We pick them up pretty early in life, and the ‘principles culture’ forces us to hide them deep in our broken souls. I woke up with a false self built on appearance and pretense and cover-up, that was motivated by a root of anger. My life depended on the mask, while I denied I was wearing one. I had convinced myself I had it together, but I was not even close. (check my comments in previous 2 podcasts)

    All of us are broken, and all of us are addicted. Some addictions are socially acceptable. They are still compulsive behaviors that enslave us. Truth is, all of us are breaking the law. We just try the ones who get caught while patting ourselves on the back because we didn’t get caught. This MO pervades society. We compare our ‘rightness’ with those around us. Most of today’s ‘church’ is a group of false selves helping each other avoid detection. If someone IS detected, we boot them out, not realizing that exposure is the only path to healing.

    I now believe that the greatest blessing a human being can receive is a direct confrontation with the Spirit of Truth, who Loves me deeply and exposes my brokenness (for my sake). After all, the Spirit searches the deep things of God, and also the deep things of me. If the Spirit has found you to be a moral person, then you haven’t let him dig deep enough. That moral person is also false. The only entity I truly am, is “Child of God.” That is the only identity I had no choice about. That’s the child that needs to be born again in/as me, begotten again by the One who put life in me the first time. The nakedly honest Father-to-Child reality restored!

    I pray for the day when the church is a group of broken people that can be totally honest with each other so that they can heal together — and share their restored Father-to-Child realities with each other. [Jn 17]

  9. During my journey, I went through “beyond the maps” experience.
    When that happens, it was time of transition for me.. moving into “next phase” on journey.

  10. During that time, (in the midst of uncertainty, hardship, brokenness..) I experienced/learned about His mercy, love and grace in new dimension/depth.
    Sometimes, I do not have patience to wait for His timing.
    – especially, during the time of transition.
    – “in His time, He makes..”

    It seems that we want to see more clearly “what lies ahead.” on our journey.
    – Maybe that is why we like to have maps. – all the time.
    It gives security and comfort.


    • Dan

      So good. Use what you’ve learned to Encourage others now when they face the uncertainty, hardship and brokenness. It’s just for a season. Jesus is in the resurrection business

Comments are closed.