A compass is a powerful symbol we use today. The famous safari app has a compass as a sign, so does a high-end realty group with the same name. It has become an imagery that we use a lot even in literature and movie. I am thinking of the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie that came out in 2001 with a pirate called Jack Sparrow with a compass whose needle points not toward north but to what he desires most. Of course, we often like such a compass. However, a real compass is a guide to stay “on route” or on track to your destination. The moral compass is a guide to live the right way within a society, helping to work for the greater good.
In Bill Pullman’s book “The Northern Lights” or what became famous as “The Golden Compass”, the protagonist Lyra Belacqua receives an aletheiometer, or “the golden compass” which helps her distinguish between falsehood and truth. Somehow, we are inclined to search for this moral compass, this truth guide in our lives. Who does not wish to have someone who tells us which way to go, what to do? And, of course, the story of the Magi in Matthew 2 is such a guiding story. Those two foreigners follow the great star to find the baby Jesus.
What is this inner compass, this intuition or inside knowledge in us? On the one hand, many of us (including me) would say, it’s Jesus. You may have heard of the famous question “What would Jesus do?” (WWJD). Yes, Jesus’ ministry is a guide for our lives. Jesus’s ministry and life is the idea we should be living for: To love one another – no matter who you are, where you are from, what social background you have.
And I feel that we also have a compass deep inside us, an intuition, this feeling that we cannot explain, this sacred knowledge that tells us which way to go: It is the way of love. This sacred voice becomes louder through our experiences, and the lessons we learn in life and the mistakes we make.The famous Richard Rohr writes in his book The Universal Christ that “We do not need to be afraid of the depths and breadths of our own lives, of what this world offers us or asks of us. We are given permission to become intimate with our own experiences, learn from them, and allow ourselves to descend to the depths of things, even our mistakes…”
All there is to do for us to connect with this knowledge so we can benefit from it in our daily lives is to practice connecting to ourselves, the sacred knowing deep inside us. In daily life – and through prayer and meditation. If you like, join us for a Taizé prayer on Tuesday at 7 PM here in the sanctuary to feel this deep connection through silence and music and prayer. In January we will be starting a monthly meditative practice facilitated by Yonder Gillihan. And there are so many different ways to connect to your inside. It takes some time to figure out how.