By: Ginger Hughes
A compass has a small magnetic pin suspended within the casing that allows the needle to spin freely responding to our planet’s magnetism. This needle aligns itself, pointing toward the top of the Earth’s magnetic field, pointing North. Like no other tool, the compass gives explorers a consistent sense of direction.
If only my heart’s compass would respond so readily; often the needle on my compass dances about, moving to the beat of its own music.
Though I intend to travel toward Truth, I often find myself ambling along another path. It’s a journey that starts innocently enough and seems to promise ideal traveling conditions, and magnificent views. The wind may be at my back, gently nudging me forward. Though there are a few curves in the road and hills to climb, all in all, it’s a beautiful journey.
That is until the rolling hills become steep mountains and the gentle curves become hairpin turns. Already tired from miles of traveling, this new rugged and now dangerous landscape can become treacherous. The further I travel, the more I realize just how far I’ve wandered off course.
I stop and reevaluate my life, turn around, and head once more toward the Light. I travel a few short miles before once again, confused and distracted by the various paths, each enticing in their way, I veer off course again.
This new way seems nice enough. Of course, I should be traveling toward Truth and Light, but surely this path has some appeal, some wonderful things in store. The scenery is lovely, and the road itself is wide and inviting. There are plenty of other travelers which is comforting. But one glance at the compass brings to light that which I’ve been trying to ignore. I’m still heading in the wrong direction.
The compass shows the way. So why is it so hard to follow the Way? Why is it so hard to stay on course? Why am I so easily led astray, so easily distracted?
The compass points steadily, but oh how my heart roams, and my mind wanders.
My practical nature is lured by promises of shortcuts and easy traveling conditions. My adventurous heart is attracted by the guaranteed beauty and magnificence promised just around the next bend. My independent spirit is enticed by the pride I know I’ll feel if I can just chart my own course and make my own way.
The needle on my compass dances around reminding me with each movement that I am off course. Just as a compass has a small magnetic pin suspended within its shell, so we as God’s children, have a Still Small Voice suspended in our souls guiding our way. Just as the compass allows the pin to spin freely, so God allows us to spin freely as well, granting us the freedom of choice. Just as the compass will always point North, so God’s Spirit will always point us toward Truth.
The way toward Truth is such a long, and arduous road at times. The Way can be lonely, narrow, and challenging. The Way is broken, scarred, and raw. So why choose this Way?
Because it is the way of life, meaning, and hope.
It is the road less traveled by.
It is the way of Christ.
In this season of Lent, we are directed ever forward toward one place…the cross. Will we follow faithfully?
-Ginger Hughes is the wife of a pastor, a mother of two and an accountant. She is a Georgia native currently living in the foothills of North Carolina. Her passion for writing is fueled by the desire to offer encouragement, grace and a deeper understanding that we are all God’s children. Her blogging for Nurturing Faith is sponsored by a gift from First Baptist Church of Gainesville, Ga. Additional writings may be found at nomamasperfect.com.