I thought I remembered
You have probably had a similar experience to what happened to me a couple of months ago. I was driving on a highway I had been on one hundreds times. The highway took several turns through a small town. It had been about five years since I had been through that area. I thought I remembered the turns.
That’s when I realized
Twenty minutes later, the highway came perpendicular to a lake. I had no memory of a lake on this highway. I grabbed my phone to open up the GPS. I didn’t have it on because I thought I knew this area so well. That is when I realized, at one of the turns in that small town, I started heading north, instead of continuing east, the direction I thought I had been going for the past twenty minutes.
When you get disoriented
What happens when you get disoriented in your surroundings? Getting confused about where you are can be dangerous. If you are in an unfamiliar city or country and don’t know where you are, what are the dangers?
- Waste time: you may waste time heading the wrong way, like me driving north when I thought I was going east.
- Wrong place: you may wind up in the wrong place.
- Wreck: you may wreck if you can’t see where you’re going.
Locate the North Star
Imagine being captain of a ship before satellites or any electronic navigation existed. Suppose you were on the sea even before the invention of any type of compass, going through a storm, bobbing like a cork. After the waves settle, you have no idea which direction your vessel is pointing. Your only hope is for a clear, cloudless night and to wait for the stars to appear, so you can locate the North Star.
The point of orientation
The entire northern sky rotates around one star that remains nearly fixed. It is the end of the Little Dipper’s handle. We call it the North Star, but is also known as Polaris. It was the point of orientation for mariners for millennia. It does not rise or set in the night sky, because the axis of the earth is pointed at it. The North Star is a fixed point of orientation.
Direction no matter the landscape
Wouldn’t it be helpful to have a North Star for life? On a micro level, there are times of disorientation as to what needs to be done next. On a macro level, disorientation occurs as to where we are headed in life. A North Star provides an orienting direction no matter the landscape.
What is your North Star?
What is your North Star? What are those fixed points in your life to help you reorient yourself? Beyond to-do lists or bucket lists, what gives you clear direction for where you are heading? When you are uncertain about what you are doing and where you are going, what can you look to with certainty? Chuck Smith use to say, “When things happen in life that you don’t understand, you must fall back on what you do understand.”
What axioms, truths, and principles do you turn to in times of uncertainty?