Friday, May 16, 2008

Do We Know Where?

I've been thinking a lot lately about compasses and GPS (hmmm, wonder why?). This morning, navigating rush hour traffic on the way to work, I was struck by another difference between the two and why a compass is the best metaphor for our quest for God and spiritual discernment (besides my hanging my whole book on that metaphor!).

The main thing, it seems to me, is that GPS implies at least beginning with a fairly specific idea of where the end destination is. It's not like hopping in a cab, like in the old movies, and telling the system, "just drive." You enter where you are (specifically) and where you'd like to end up (specifically). I can't just enter "Brent's Farm" for example -- it needs a full address. Even with newer systems that allow you find stores, eateries, and the such, you have to add specifics -- city at least and the type of store -- food, book, etc.

What would we put in for God? Is God locatable in that sense? I don't think so.

That's why the compass fits better. We may not always know where God is ... or where we are ... but the compass unfailing points the way to God, our spiritual true north. The Holy Spirit, our ever present companion on our life's pilgrimage, shows the way. Who knows what we'll find along the way -- joyful, sad, helpful, scary. It's an adventure in spirituality -- not safe, but ultimately satisfying as we learn to rely on the tool God has planted in our soul.


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