by Dawn Aldrich
May He keep us centered and devoted to Him, following the life path He has cleared, watching the sign posts, walking at the pace and rhythms He laid down for our ancestors.
1 Kings 8:57-58 The Message
“What good is an island no one can find?” grumbles a pirate sailing upon the Black Pearl.
“What good is a compass that’s broken?” asks his mate. “It doesn’t point north!”
“Who’s looking for north?!” retorts Captain Jack Sparrow.
No sailor, (except maybe Jack Sparrow), would ever set out to sea without a working compass. Compasses, when working properly, guide a boat toward its destination based upon the direction it points (north, south, east or west). They direct us by means of a rotating magnetic needle that indicates magnetic north, which can change based upon shifts in the earth, any ferrous metals or electronics that may come near it. Therefore, magnetic compasses may need to be readjusted or centered.
In the movie, The Black Pearl, the famous compass of Captain Jack Sparrow, spun in every direction, never quite landing on true north, or any other direction, either. You see, his compass wasn’t centered on true or magnetic north, but rather on his heart’s truest desire. And, if you’ve watched any of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, Jack never quite knows what he wants, which is why it spins out of control.
My life’s been like that spinning compass. Yours, too? We feel the pull of family, ministry, friends, small group, writing, my home and, well, the list could keep going. While all these parts of our lives are good, if they only serve to keep us busy and exhausted until there’s nothing left for God, then something’s gotta give.
This summer, I truly thought I’d slowed down and rid my life of distractions and spinning schedules, but God wanted more. He wanted to be my center; to slow me down until my compass pointed to true north—to Him alone—not to all those busy things my life centered around. He beckoned me to reset my pace according to the rhythm of His stride.
Guess what happens when we slow and match God’s pace? We find others can do those busy things just as well as we can. And we find clarity. The skies clear and with our full attention on Him, we find ourselves moving forward toward God’s promises spoken on our lives. When God is our center, we become centered in His will and plan for our lives, which, I’ve realized, is our heart’s truest desire.
Are you looking for that island? (God’s purpose/Your heart’s desire), but you find your compass is broken and spinning out of control? Slow down. Let God be your center by putting some things aside and spending time alone with God every day. As you draw closer to Him, He will draw closer to you.
Father-God, thank you for your patience as you wait for us to put aside our busyness and slow to the rhythm of your stride. You are forever loving, gently, kind and gentle as you wait. Now, Lord, we ask you to be our center. Redirect our attention to you and your ways. Realign our heart’s desire with yours. Amen.