Inner compass

What happens when we have to rely on our inner compass?

This devotional question made me laugh. Well, made me shake my head and smile, because she sets the context thus:

 “We live in a world governed by GPS systems. At any given moment, we can know our coordinates. We’ve abandoned the sacred art of getting lost and of the discoveries we make when we stray from the marked path.”

I can’t recall the last time I was on a marked path.

Oh, wait! When I was a sophomore in high school? Sort of, in my work (school) life…but not really, since my courses even then didn’t fit the usual groove. My mother would take out graph paper and the school’s master course schedule each summer, then go to the office with her grid the week before classes. (They would tell her my schedule couldn’t be done. Don’t tell my mother it can’t be done.)

Besides, my depression and anxiety had already rolled me into the darkness and weeds. Finding light and clearing a trail took the next ten years. There is no marked path there.

Or, what about the time I drew a map, told myself it was my path, and started following it? I finished college (check), got engaged (check), moved to Austin (check), got a job as a teacher (check)…then unraveled. End of teaching, end of wedding planning, end of engagement… beginning of something else.

Of the provisional-feeling life I’ve been leading ever since.

My Sweetie showed up in my life as a lunch-date. The first among many lunch-date-guys at that time, so he didn’t stand out. Nope, sorry, no angel-music, no shower of sparkles…just another guy at work interested in a single female.

My technical career showed up as one repair after another. It seemed silly to wait on the official folks when I could get a colleague moving again. And it was interesting to learn new things…that happened to be computer related. I applied for my first officially technical job because a mentor-friend said, “That posting in my department. You should apply for it.” But I, but… “Are you interested?” Absolutely! “Then apply.” Another tech job I got when I took someone to lunch. “Aren’t you finishing your degree? We need a systems administrator.”

The work decade following that? Kicked off with a wry acknowledgement to God that I needed more structure, followed by a phone call from my church. They needed a desktop publisher.

The arrivals of each of my girls. My volunteer positions. My ways and means of parenting. The list goes on and on…

Today one of my classmates was about to ask me about my goal, my reason for taking this seminary class. Right now I don’t have a rational answer.

All I have is my continual conversation between God and my innermost self.

Where shall I set my foot down now, Lord?

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