Wednesday, November 3, 2010

What Is Your Compass?

“You know, O Lord, that man is not master of his way; Man’s course is not within his choice, nor is it for him to direct his step.” Jeremiah 10: 23

What is your compass?

When I ask this to people, whether they are teens or adults, I get some pretty varied answers. Sometimes they say God, sometimes it is “love”, sometimes it is nothing. But the most interesting answer I get is when people say themselves. Until I remind them that we can’t be our own compass. A compass is something apart from us that shows us where to go.

All of us are guided by something or someone at almost every moment of our lives. Our parents, culture, religion, friends—even the weather—can have all kinds of influence on us; both good and bad. I have heard the cacophony of those claiming to be independent thinkers. They are those who often reject religion because claim freedom to go their own way and think for themselves. But are they really? Or are they really just following something different now?

The way I see it, either the Church is our compass, or the world is. That’s it. And why do I say the Church and not God? Because a compass does not have power in and of itself, but it is guided by the magnetic force of the poles, just as the Church is guided by the power of the Holy Spirit. And like a good compass, the Church is always pointing “north” to God and to heaven. If we are not following the direction of the Church, then we can be pretty certain that we are following the direction of the world. And the needle of this compass is always spinning and never showing a true way. It is always causing confusion and insecurity and hopelessness.

So, what is your compass? Is it the Church, or is it the world? One will lead us to heaven and the other will lead us in circles, like the circles of a whirl pool, dragging us down in despair and darkness. Let us not only cling to the Church and the Truth of God proclaimed through Her, but also share this compass with others, so that they too, might come to know the way and be filled with the surety of hope that it brings.

Dear Jesus, thank you for giving us a compass in the Church to show us the way to You. With Your grace, may we always allow our hearts, minds and souls to be guided by this compass and to reject the compass of the world. Amen.

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