One of my favorite movie series is Pirates of the Caribbean. Throughout the movies, Jack Sparrow consults his compass for direction. With the needle in constant motion, it’s difficult to believe it is conventionally useful. Instead, the compass mythically directs him to what he desires most. Because his desires change on multiple occasions, the courses he and the other characters take often include detours, deviations, and back-tracking.
Jack Sparrow’s compass does not consistently point due north; it as reliable as a newborn baby’s sleep schedule. Our lives can be similarly chaotic when we don’t have a trustworthy guide.
Not too long ago, I experienced physical and emotional fatigue, overwhelmed by responsibilities at work and home. My children and I were sick, which lead to schedule changes, interrupted sleep patterns, weariness, and eventually exhaustion. So rather than waking early to read the Bible and pray, I slept. I struggled to get out of bed, believing I would get more benefit studying the back of my eyelids than God’s Word.
Unfortunately, a few days turned into a few weeks and the routine became harder to get back into. I wondered, why am I feeling so crummy? Then it hit me – I was neglecting my Compass. I failed to realize how my early morning meeting with Jesus set the course of my day. During that time, I received His grace for yesterday’s mistakes, encouragement to try again, and strength to pursue His purpose.
While sleep is good and necessary, it does not replace the restorative nature of communion with the Lord. Isaiah 42:16 says,
I will lead the blind by ways they have not known,
along unfamiliar paths I will guide them;
I will turn the darkness into light before them
and make the rough places smooth.
When the Lord is the compass we consistently consult, He gives vision when we are blind to the next step; He is our tour guide when the course is unfamiliar; He provides light when the road darkens; He makes our path smooth when the ground is unsteady.
The Message provides a great reminder in Psalm 20:24 – The very steps we take come from God; otherwise how would we know where we’re going?” Erratic mystification is certainly entertaining to watch in Pirates, but not a way to navigate real life. Our journey through life requires a guide. The Lord has given us the choice to pilot independently, or let Him set our course. Which do you choose?
Lord, thank You for loving me enough to provide wisdom and guidance every step of the way. Teach me to consult You and wait patient for your response before making a move. For when we do, the plans You have for us are exponentially greater than anything we could dream of.