Calibrating our Compass

Originally posted on September 18, 2020

I inherited my grandmother’s big, round, solid oak coffee table. I love it because of all the memories formed around it at my grandparent’s home. And (to my brother’s horror) I painted the top turquoise and put a yellow compass decal on it. Now I love it even more. To add to the joy it brings me, I am quite entertained by the people who walk in and open the compass on their smart phone to see if it is calibrated to true north! (It is.)

I think the reason there is so much anger and anxiety and hate and fear in our world is that we’ve mis-calibrated our compasses. Deep in the core of our being is the image of God and we are all created for the purpose of bearing God’s image in this world. I believe that this it what Jesus meant when he taught us to pray, “your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” From the very beginning, though, human beings decided we can know better than God what is good for us and how we should behave and so we shifted our compass away from true north.

To legitimize our way of doing things, we’ve tried to recreate the truth of who we are and who God is. We go to scripture looking to justify our own behavior and we find what we are looking for and paint a god of our own image.

But when we go to scripture looking to discover who God is and who we are in relation to him we will find what we are looking for and discover the image of God in us. And our compass is set straight. This is what Jesus means when he says, “follow me.” “Follow me to the true God of love and forgiveness and compassion.”

We need to be aware of allowing our compass being pulled off true north. We have to pay attention to who we are letting lead us.

A true hero does not lift a select few up by putting other people down.
A real leader does not turn one group against another as a means of gaining power.
A true savior does not belittle or degrade a person or group of people but offers salvation to all.

Choose to follow those who have a moral compass based on love and compassion and kindness rather than an immoral compass of fear and shame and hate.

Be cautious of anyone who encourages hate rather than love. And if you are following someone who spreads hate in the name of god, you can be certain they’ve created a god in their own image and that they are not following The God who sent Jesus to save us all and lead everyone into the Kingdom built on love and forgiveness and grace.

Check your surroundings to see if there is any magnetic field that might be distracting you from true north. What are you spending time doing that pulls you away from following Jesus toward God’s Kingdom?

“God of power and might, God of compassion and grace, enable me to courageously point my compass toward you so that my life reflects your love for all people in all places. As I daily celebrate with gratitude your love for me, give me the wisdom to know that there is not, never has been, or ever will be a person that you don’t love as much as you love me. Amen.”

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