Friday, October 10, 2014

What is your North Star?

This story is about acknowledging the positive aspects of our lives, and finding a reliable "compass" or way to guide us.  For those who believe in God, it is about surrender and discipleship.  For non-believers, it is about finding positive role models and life attributes to follow and look toward.

Sometimes when life becomes challenging for us, we need to look beyond our current situations and try to envision the “big picture”  or overall life perspective of the situation, detach ourselves from the anxieties of now and look to a power greater than us to give us strength and direction.

My journal entry from September 29, 2014, 9:00 PM at the prison where I work.

I’m on Outside Perimeter Post tonight at the prison, driving in circles around the outside fence making sure everything is secure.  It’s a rainy night, and it has been drizzling all day long, kind of melancholy, and in a moment of contemplation I wrote this:

What is your North Star?

Lately I've been thinking a lot at night about the stars in the sky.  Spending most of my time in the city nowadays, it’s been a long time since I've seen a clear starry night.  I can’t even remember the last time I went outside and searched for Polaris, the North Star.

For centuries explorers and navigators on both land and sea have used the stars to guide them.  The 16th century explorer Ferdinand Magellan, the first person to circumnavigate the globe, traveled over 37,000 miles.  He primarily used celestial bodies, such as Polaris and seasonal winds to find his way and lead other countless travelers to do the same.  This accomplishment established trade routes that helped civilization develop and grow that we still use today.

In the absence of these guiding lights in the sky, how would he have done this?  He possibly could have done it without these navigational aids, but chances are he would have spent countless weeks or months wandering about not knowing where he was or which direction he was going.

We don’t navigate by stars anymore, at least us city dwellers.  We have roads, maps, and speaking GPS navigators on our phones and at our fingertips, taking us to our destination literally turn by turn.  But metaphorically, what are we using as our Polaris to lead us through life?  Some of us are driven in a certain direction by career, family, money, ambition, education or similar; some of us by religion or politics.  Ultimately all of these drivers are just temporary guides that change.  They are proven to be inconsistent, flawed, of less significant value and can potentially misdirect us.

The North Star doesn't move.  It’s in the north sky and is, and always will be a reliable guide.  I think of God this way.  When my life gets misdirected and my priorities get misaligned it’s because I've taken my eyes off God, the North Star of the Universe and replaced it with something less reliable (usually worry).

Here is a Bible verse in John, chapter 14 that hit me like a rock!  1. Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me (Jesus)… 5. Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” 6. Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me. 

So if your life is lacking direction or if your compass has become misaligned, consider switching to the Great Navigator, God to provide direction and see how that works for you.  May you be blessed in your journey. - gus

PS. If you like this, comment below and share it with a friend.  Meet me on Twitter @guskoerner

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