True North

Do you ever experience confusion. I guess most do.

True North. Those of us who have gone through major life events cane lose direction, wander mentally confused, have a nagging sense of something not quite right.

That’s been my status for months and I’m not sure why. Every time I get my balance, every time the earth seems to quit tilting me emotionally, something happens and I am back to an undesired state of slight confusion. I check calendars for the day and date. I obsessively check the time. I recheck my appointments. I ask my loved spouse to verify what I’ve just checked.

I am fine when I am writing, functioning in various leadership positions, even better when I am reading Scripture, praying, studying, so it is not that I am not mentally alert. I am. I just have this odd confusion.

It has gotten much worse after we evacuated from Hurricane Irma. We drove 12 hours in bumper to bumper traffic to stay with a young woman and her husband. She is an adopted in my heart daughter and she was quick to urge us to head to Charlotte, NC rather than ride out the storm in our Florida mobile home. A week later we drove back on roads that paralleled the packed major highways. Reduced speed added up to an 11-hour journey.

Our home had no damage unless you count a torn screen. We never lost electric power. And we thanked God, rejoiced, checked on others, unpacked and resumed our usual busy schedule.

But I continue to have this sense of unrest, of confusion, of things off kilter everywhere in the world. Months ago I stopped watching the local news, weary of hearing about violence, criminal acts and too much sad information. Then I quit watching the national news. Everything there was too much. However, shutting off that flow of information began to feel juvenile. I am a retired journalist, communications specialist. I realized I needed to keep the right perspective, to trust God when I am baffled and bewildered with world and local happenings. His ways are not my ways and I have often looked back at hard times in my life and seen God’s hand. Good frequently came out of bad. So, with a sigh of acceptance, I began watching news again.

Today, feeling edgy, I looked at a compass given to me as a gift when I stepped down as assistant to our church’s Children’s Pastor. I understood the visual message in that gift. I stopped and offered a silent prayer. Asked God to keep me on the path He wants, in the direction that glorifies him. Then I got practical and decided what I would do is write a blog about True North.

Ha! The explanation on Wikipedia added to my confusion. True North does not mean what many of us think. There is magnetic north and geo-something north. For me, True North resides in the Adirondack Mountains of New York state. That’s where I was raised.

And spiritually, True North points to following Jesus and the directions are in the New Testament. The background long story starts in the first book of the Old Testament. And my inner compass is the Holy Spirit. I tend to lean heavier on God the Father sometimes but whatever leaning I do is on the Triune God so I have a map, a reliable compass. Straighten me out God, in whatever way I need straightening, and whisper clearly in the ears of my heart.

I don’t know if you experience similar periods of uncertainty that gnaws at you. If so, I pray you will find your own reminder of what True North is in your life. I thank you for your time and attention in reading this blog. I hope I did not leave you confused. I treasure and respect my readers.

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