Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Trust the Compass - Wegner

Trust the Compass Who hasn’t heard the expression, “Go West, young man?” In the story that went with that admonition, instructions were clear - head west where the action is. This week I read about another challenge involving directions but this time things didn’t turn out as well as they should have.

Seems there was an old seaman who was sharing the story of the early days of learning his trade. He told of how he would head out to sea and invariably get lost. Time after time folks would have to get in their boats, search for and rescue him. In frustration one of them asked, “Why don’t you use a compass?”

Wisely, he took the advice and set the instrument on the bridge as he piloted his boat into open water. Alas, and in spite of their counsel, this novice sailer lost his way again and spent the night afloat. The next day his friends piled into their boats and headed out to find him.“Didn’t you take the compass?” they queried, now nearly choking with frustration.

“Yes,” he assured them, “but no matter how hard I tried to make it point north it would always land on southeast.”

As “duh” as we may label the fellow, I’ve done that in my writing journey. In my efforts to generate income I’ve unwisely taken on certain projects. Though completing them, I found myself nearly too discouraged to try again. Other times I’ve worn myself out knocking on doors that simply wouldn’t open. In every phase of this journey and in too many ways, I’ve pointed my compass (i.e. prayed for wisdom, for strength and for direction) but failed to trust its accuracy.

The two most valuable lessons I’ve learned as a writer are first, that God is interested in my work, even when I was ready to throw up my hands and look for other work (any work, as long as it didn't involve words) and second, that without Christ, I can do nothing. The good news is that with Him I can do all things. Hallelujah!

“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts,” God told his people. My determined goal is to keep my eyes on Christ, paddle with all my might, and trust Him to chart the course.

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