A star peers through my window as I drive. It is luminous, and for the past few nights it has been capturing my notice…almost calling me to pay attention. Whispering a message through its repeated appearances throughout the countryside, I pull over to listen. I gaze at the seemingly stationary star, and as I do, I think about the old world ships which navigated uncharted oceans by starlight. While there were no maps for the sea, the sky was charted in great detail. With the North Star as a guide to true north, all the other directions were easily discernable. Find Polaris, and you could find your way. When the captains needed direction, they looked up.
Sitting under the tutelage of my star instructor, I get the message as clearly as the night sky. When my world is off balance or when things are unclear, I need to find my true north. If I fix my eyes on the stresses and uncertainties of my life, I will get lost in the darkness. There is a vast sea all around me that is not marked and the only way to navigate it is to look up, and keep my eyes on the one who knows me better than I know myself…the one who created the star he uses to instruct. Suddenly, I find courage that hadn’t been there moments before. It rises up, like the heavenly hosts above me as I gaze into the night sky. I realize I cannot lose my way when I depend on him and therefore, I commit to fix my eyes on the Lord, who is my true north.
It occurs to me then that I am not the only one who needs this reminder. Our world is divided. Our friends and families are tearing one another apart. There is chaos. Negativity oozes off of screens and into the streets. Disrespect has a stronghold. It seems a storm is brewing and the future is uncertain. The swells are growing bigger on the ocean and we have lost our way. We have forgotten that the sea is uncharted, but the map we need has been provided. We have only to look up to the heavens to find our bearings and remember where we are. One star of hope directs us. He is the unchanging one…the one who is the same yesterday, today, and forever. As long as we can see him, the waves can churn and crash all around us, but we will not lose our way. We can fix our eyes on him and find the courage we need to get us through the storms and darkness. The Ancient of Days is not movable by the whims of men. The rest of creation revolves around his stability and faithfulness. Sometimes the winds blow hard, and other times the sea is like glass. He is not surprised by either, nor is he moved from his throne in the heavens. He has not forgotten or abandoned us. We need only look up at our star instructor to remember how to find our true north. From there, courage leads us home.