{Re}check compass

This blog post was originally published on October 24, 2016. It’s still in the archives but I thought that bringing it back at this juncture might be fitting. Plus, it’s one of my favourite posts. Edited slightly for clarity.

Several years ago, I read The Checklist Manifesto.

One of the most interesting stories was the one of Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger, the pilot who safely landed US Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River in January of 2009. It seems an extensive checklist guided the pilot and crew to skillfully and ably land a plane in crisis.

I thought the checklist was confined to a book, maybe something like an analog flight journal, with thumbed through, curled ends, erasure-marked and ink-blotched pages.

I was wrong.

It seems the checking goes on again and again.

On a flight out of New York’s Laguardia International Airport, I scored a window seat. Usually stuck in the middle, this time I could open up the window shade to peer out over the city I was leaving.

I hoped to glimpse Lady Liberty or catch another siting of the Empire State Building.

As we taxied down the runway and paused a bit before take off, I took a look to my left. And spotted another {re} word.

Photo credit: Yours truly, April 16, 2016

In other words, pilot, whether you’ve checked it during your preflight checklist or at any other time in your process, now would be a good time to recheck your compass.

Make sure you know where true north is.

Do it again.

Here’s this runway’s heading.

Do your instruments agree?

Recheck that compass!

More than 200 lives depend on its accuracy. Getting off course could be disastrous.

What about you? Do you need to recheck your compass?

Is the heading set to true north? Are you heading in the right direction?

If you know me, you know I’m directionally challenged. Dallas confuses me more often then not. I can start out going north and end up going east or west while I’m still on the same road I started on.

If it weren’t for the compass in my car or for the blessedness of GPS and a soft-voiced, Australian male Siri telling me which direction to turn and when, I end up in Las Colinas by the horse sculptures. Every. Single. Time. Miles out of my way.

Or at least I used to. Now, I recheck.

I compare Siri’s directions to what my compass says and I look to see if they agree.

What about my spiritual compass? I find I have to recheck that quite often.

Some times its heavy doses of praise and worship. Some of the songs are worn, yet effective, and become earworms I’m humming with for days. They keep me headed in the right direction.

Reading in the Bible for light to illumine my path helps me learn more about the again God I serve. Some of the pages are getting a little dog-eared and ragged.

Reliance on wise friends I hold dear. My friends likely wonder if I’ll ever get it right or ever stop asking for them to pray for me.

I do hope they understand that just like my driving — I’m often directionally challenged and I’m just rechecking my spiritual compass.<3

A few scriptures:

Your word is a lamp to walk by, and a light to illumine my path.
— Psalm 119:105

Always rejoice, constantly pray, in everything give thanks.
For this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
— I Thessalonians 5:16-17

Plans fail when there is no counsel, but with abundant advisers they are established.
— Proverbs 15:22