Roger Harty: The Beauty Of A Compass

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I CAN remember it as though it was yesterday when my son, who is now 22, was about four years old and he was standing in the sitting room with a compass in his hand.

In walked his uncle who asked him what was that in his hand? The child simply replied “a compass”

His uncle asked “And now tells me what is a compass?”

With this my child looked up as if the answer was obvious and said; “It tells you where you are and where you aren’t are.”

As they say, ‘out of the mouth of babes’.

The main point here is that we all need a direction in life and what a beautiful and clever instrument a compass, is and how ultimately we are going nowhere without it, as we would be truly lost.

To this end, ask the sailors of bygone years and they would be very quick to tell you how loathe they would be to negotiate the perilous oceans of the world without instruments like a compass or a sextant.

Thus when we know where we are going and have safe guidance, then we can derive great comfort on our journey.

A good compass is our ultimate security. When we are secure, fear dissipates.

To this end look to the beauty of nature. Did you ever wonder in awe at how a flock of thousands of starlings (a murmuration!) glide ceremoniously in unison together?

Did you ever admire the ability of a flock of Brent geese and how they can fly all the way from Canada to Ireland or how a tiny swallow can migrate from Ireland to Africa.

This has and still does continue to baffle mankind and the only plausible answer is that they have some sort of inbuilt compass and are secure in that knowledge.

To this end we humans also are lost without a direction. Jesus Christ could see this and decided to step up to the plate.

He became our compass and guiding light and not only that, gave us the simple direction like any good shepherd would.

He said “I Am (is) The Way” and then all we need to do is to ‘Follow Him’.

He was teaching us to be ‘Still’ and to be ‘Present’ and to take time out to follow the guidance of our inner light just like the starlings, the Brent geese and the swallows.

Just like these creatures of nature when we know that we have a never-failing compass we can bask in the comfort of knowing that we are guided by the ultimate guide. We can be feel secure.

It does not mean that just like the geese and the swallows that there won’t be trials and tribulations on the way – in fact there most certainly will.

However we can bask in the joy and comfort that we have a compass and all we need to do is trust in that compass.  In Jesus I Trust.

• Next week I am going to write about ‘Our Compassion is our Compass’.

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