Monday, May 03, 2010

Compass, Maps, & the Will of God

Compass. As a kid the very word conjured images of treks across trackless wastes, blazing trails through primeval forests, and other adventures unavailable to city boys. I didn't need a compass in a city composed of north-south avenues and east-west streets. One block north, two blocks west, two more blocks north and I was at my grandparents. Simple. Straight. No adventure.

"Compass" still hold an aura of mystery for me today in this time of GPS and turn by turn directions issuing out of my car's stereo speakers. It still implies a journey where no navigation DVD has gone and no satellites peer. And while there are few of those in my business life, they abound in my spiritual life.

Unlike GPS and other wonders of modern direction finding, a compass does not give us step by step steps to our destination. It does, though, no matter what direction we turn, always point us to true north -- a destination most of us (unless we're named Amundsen, Byrd, Peary, or Henson) never reach in this lifetime. This is a metaphor for our spiritual lives and the work of discerning God's will for them.

There are many times I wish God would speak as clearly and as obviously as Mapquest or GoogleMaps. But the life of faith is not that way. Instead our sacred compass (the work of God's Spirit within us) points us to our spiritual true north -- the mind and love of God -- and asks us to travel by faith and use the various maps we've been given. Things like spiritual friends, the Bible, prayer, and other faith practices. Our sacred compass is that which is embedded in our souls that calls us to life with God -- life abundant and adventurous, even during those times we wish it was less so.

So, what "maps" do you use to help make sure you're following your sacred compass?

-- Brent

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