A constant in the night sky is the North Star (Polaris). Since the first mariners braved the open ocean, the North Star has served as a reliable beacon to guide them home. The North Star is located almost directly above the North Pole and does not change position in the sky. The North Star moves in a very small circle above the north celestial pole, while all the other stars in the Northern Hemisphere rotate around it. Because Polaris appears stationary in the night sky, seafarers can easily find true north by locating the North Star. Since the advent of Global Positioning Satellites, radio signals triangulate locations around the world relying on objects in the heavens.
When one is lost, normal actions give way to frantic activity. Over the last two decades, people move faster, go further in search of the perfect life. An erosion of the milk of human kindness eats away at civility and relationships. People draw into themselves, circle the wagons, and from self-centered overlooks view others with suspicion. COVID amplified these tendencies with masks, social distancing and general fear about living a normal life. FaceBook, Reality TV, TikTok, Instagram and dozens of applications create a fantasy world fueled by likes and shares imitating real life but leaving people quite alone. Anger, division, hatred are new norms for the world, human kindness seldom surfaces as folks frantically search for direction.
Finding ones’ way in this confusing fear-filled world is as simple as looking up. Travelers of old, looked to the stars of heaven, we too can look to the heavens for direction from Jesus Christ. God became man, took upon Himself the form of flesh to show us the way to heaven. The Bible tells His story for all to understand how to find our way eternally. As one asks for forgiveness of sins receiving Jesus Christ as Lord, Eternal North comes into focus. In a very practical manner Jesus said;
Matthew 22:37-40 AMPLIFIED…. And Jesus replied to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself [that is, unselfishly seek the best or higher good for others].’ 40 The whole Law and the [writings of the] Prophets depend on these two commandments.
These two commandments are North Stars for our lives. Love God – easy to accomplish unless one is blaming Him for problems in Life. Love your neighbor – herein lies the challenge. Love is NOT a, “Like.” Social media is not replacement for helping, touching encouraging others during times of difficulties. Unselfishly seeking the welfare of others takes time, planning, money and effort especially in the presently socially distanced world. Loving our neighbor removes ones’ focus from ones’ own life to the affairs of others much like Jesus loved.
There is no better way to experience the Love of God than through giving of yourself first to HIM and secondly to others. In these you will find your True North.
The writer is the director of Agape Distribution/Combined Community Food Pantry.