The world has a compass that points north. It’s all very interesting and scientific . Simply put, a compass always points north because it contains a magnet in the needle and is attracted to the powerful magnetic force that exists inside the northern part the earth. However, true north is different from magnetic north. True north is the direction towards the actual geographical north pole, the axis that our planet revolves around. All the lines of longitude converge at this pinpoint of true north. True north also happens to be directly below the North Star or Polaris. So, from any point in the northern hemisphere, if you look towards the north star, you are looking true north. I find it very interesting that the difference between these two becomes greater the closer you get to true north.
We, as humans, find ourselves searching for our own true north in our life’s journey. We are often uncertain where we stand, where we are going and what the right path is for us personally. Navigating toward true north would enable us to follow the right path. So where is that path and how do we find it?
Oddly enough, I see this as another powerful metaphor to be gleaned from observing nature. God’s plan and the world’s plans for our life are vastly different just as magnetic north and true north are geographically different. Magnetic north is discovered through man made gadgets and represents the world; true north is discovered through nature and represents God’s plan. The world direction is just plausible enough to seem right, but it’s not really accurate. In fact the closer we get to it, the farther off the mark we discover we really are in finding the joy of our existence. It is the natural markers, God’s words, that head us toward our true north and finding the purpose for which we were made.
If we followed the magnetic compass of the world, it tells us that it is all about us and to do what makes us happy. God tells us to love others and submit to them out of reverence for Him. The world tells us to seek power and leverage it for our own good. God tells us to put on the apron of humility to serve one other. The world tells us to avenge our enemies. God tells us to forgive them, turn the other cheek, and pray for them. The world tells us that to become rich, we must hold on to all of our wealth. God tells us that the only way to be rich is to open our hands and be generous to others because all we have comes from Him. The world tells us that it is okay to experiment with our bodies with drugs and indiscriminate sex. God tells us that our bodies are our temples for Him and we are to honor them. The world tells us that it is a good thing to be independent and in control. God tells us to depend on Him….for everything.
The world even tells us that by following God’s words, we are missing out….and I think the world may be right about that one. We are missing out … on the pain and regret of bad decisions, missing out on the bitterness of holding grudges, missing out on the loneliness of a selfishly lived life, missing out on the fear of diseases that we’ve brought upon our selves, and missing out on the stress of feeling that we have to do it on our own. I think I want to be missing out!
Finding my true north is counter intuitive to what the world is encouraging me to do. I must recalibrate my compass just as I must recalibrate my thinking. It.is.not.easy! In fact it is a very difficult process. I find that I must be constantly, consistently, and intentionally recalibrating each thought I think, each word I speak, and each action I perform, because the pull of the world is strong.
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” ~Romans 12:2