Map or Compass?

“In our Christ-led journey, we don’t follow a map – we follow a compass.” – Paul Cole

Pastor Paul Cole (Christian Men’s Network – ) tweeted this a week or so ago – it has stuck in my head and heart ever since – it’s so simply profound.

The differences between a map and a compass are not immediately obvious to many.

OK . . . back in the day, as a boy scout – and yes a long haired musician boy scout did exist – it was me – I loved scouting!  I digress, back in the day as a boy scout having a map was awesome, but learning to use and function with a compass was beyond imagination to me, it made you feel invincible.

To follow a map left me inside my head, thinking, and trusting in only me, my sight, and the map – when you’re in the bush in the dark – it’s not enough – getting lost with a map in your pocket, in the dark, in the thick bush of New Zealand, easy!  How many stories have you heard of people, lost, walking in large circles in the wilderness – that took them hours to do and stole their hope on discovery.

map or compass - new culture

A compass, however, keeps us totally and fully connected to our surroundings – it’s not just a continual direction “guide” (big enough in itself) but it’s a position “finder” – you don’t get turned around in the dark – you can always find which direction and distance to achieve your journey’s destination.  A compass will always shed truth and light on your map!  If you have to navigate seemingly insurmountable obstacles you wont get all turned around and lost. You’re less likely to be always head-down staring hopefully into the map if you’re led by the compass.  The compass shows you exactly where you are, sometimes in spite of what you “think” you’re seeing.

The compass breaths the confidence into the journey that you first thought the map gave you.

I know this first hand.  It was getting late at night, we were about six or more hard kilometers from our destination, the moon clouded over – there were maybe eight of us, hiking down a ridge heading south – following a ridge is easy, but hiking downhill is deceptive, your steps are bigger, you eat up the distance faster – we hiked right past our landmark (shown on the map) that was our sign to get off the ridge and head hard north and drop maybe 30-40 meters into a river valley.  We stopped, flashlights failing, we climbed trees to elevate our vision from the dark bush, and using the compass, we (triangulated) took coordinates from bigger trees not very far away and reversed them out to show us on the map where we truly were – ridiculously accurate even at night – about one kilometer further down the ridge than we thought.  We back up that kilometer and find the landmark (a hunter’s hut) burned to the ground and only a dark grey river rock chimney left standing – impossible to see in the dark.  But the map faithfully showed the hut that no-longer existed.

The compass kept us fluid in our journey and brought us back on track.

I believe the compass to be the Holy Spirit.  The great Navigator.

Map or Compass – what’s in your . . . life?

God is amazing!


See You In Church Church!

In His Amazing Name

Ps Glenn Feehan – True NORTH Church.  Frisco Texas


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I think many of us as Christians do our lives as if we’ve got a map – it’s fixed!





~ by Glenn Feehan on April 15, 2016.

One Response to “Map or Compass?”

  1. Compass!!

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