by Sandy Kirby Quandt
In elementary school I was fascinated when I first learned about a compass and magnetic force. I loved to watch the red needle of my handheld compass swing back and forth until it pointed north toward the top of Earth’s magnetic field. I knew if I was ever lost, all I needed to do was hold out my compass and follow its direction north.
I also loved to play with “Wooly Willy”. You know. The game where you used a magnet to move iron shavings all around Willy’s face and gave him a mustache, eyebrows, beard.
Of course, before I could use my compass if I was lost, that meant I needed to know whether I should walk north, south, east or west to my desired destination. But at least I would know where north was.
Through the years I’ve learned more about magnetic force.
It doesn’t always point exactly north. The Earth’s magnetic North Pole is not the same as “true north”, the Earth’s geographic North Pole. The magnetic North Pole lies about 1,000 miles south of true north, in Canada.
To confuse us even more, the magnetic North Pole isn’t even a stationary point. Over the last century, it has shifted more than 620 miles toward Siberia. Seems there are disturbances in the force, I mean field ;), that can cause a compass needle to point away from both the geographic North Pole and the magnetic North Pole. This is called declination.
Enough science. What’s all this got to do with anything?
There is an eternal compass that doesn’t shift. It never fails to point us in the correct direction. To True North. When we’re lost and stumbling around trying to find our way, this compass never fails to give the lost a sense of direction.
Some believe they have an internal compass. I always thought I had a terrific sense of direction until Pie and I took a trip south of the equator. Boy, was I wrong.
Just like me and my false sense of direction in the southern hemisphere, we may falsely believe we have a terrific internal moral compass that keeps us on the straight and narrow.
Bumps and dips on the Earth’s surface can cause declination. Bumps and dips in our lives can threaten to pull us off course, too. When our internal moral compass gets pulled off course, we tend to head away from God down the wrong path.
When disturbances, declinations, in our lives cause our internal guidance system to pull away from God, how do we get back on track? I believe turning to the Bible and reseting our sights on what is true and worthy to be pursued is a good starting point.
The same way Earth’s magnetic field pulls the needle on a compass and points it to true north, when we surrender the declination of the bumps and dips of our own wills to the True Force, he will point us in the correct direction we should go.
May the True Force be with you now and always.
Have you ever used a compass to help when you were lost? What about Wooly Willy? Did you ever have one of those?
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And if you leave God’s paths and go astray, you will hear a voice behind you say, “No, this is the way; walk here.” Isaiah 30:21 (TLB)
I wish you well.
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David and I loved playing with Wooly Willy.
That probably had something to do with your “magnetic” personality. 😉
You’re so funny, Sandy. Thank you for reminding us of Wooly Willy…we didn’t know the name of it!
I had to look it up. I didn’t want to say the guy you drew a beard on. 🙂
That’s what we would have called him too!