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The Compass

By: Ellen Perkey

Leon preached about following the Spirit this Sunday in church and it reminded me of the mental image of how I perceive the Holy Spirit personally. I’ve always felt the Spirit as a compass, something that I can access when I’m quiet and listening, a pulling feeling towards or away from something. Rarely I will get a flash of clarity from the Holy Spirit about something in my life, like the time I was walking in a rainy gray pasture to check on a pregnant horse and realized there was nothing in the world I’d rather be doing than that.  

A compass guides us when we use it, and it reliably points in the same direction every time. What a compass won’t do is give us turn by turn directions as a GPS does. It takes skill and practice to find your way with a compass, it is something you have to keep checking in with to successfully use it. But a compass will remain the same, day or night, clear weather or rough weather, disregarding all circumstance. Even when you’re not looking at a compass it will continue to point in the same direction.  

The unfailing love of God is always there to guide us. When things are unclear we need to pray for guidance and also check in with the internal compass God has given us access too. So many times I pray “God, I don’t know how I can do this,” and the answer is always that I don’t have to do it alone. I pray so often “God, show me where you want me to be,” and sometimes I can see a glimpse of the good things God is guiding me towards even when where I’m at seems so dark.  

Make the choice to check in with your compass this week. Listen to the little disquiet inside you that asks you to look for something more. Listen to the calm center of your heart that says you’re exactly where you need to be right now. Listen to the reassurance inside that tells you this stage of your life won’t last forever. Remember that unlike a compass the guide of the Holy Spirit comes with the assurance that whatever the path is you’re not walking it alone.