If a Compass could talk, I once had this conversation with my Compass.
When I was a stopped at a stoplight one afternoon I pulled out my cheap Compass from the storage compartment between the front seats. Looking down at the needle, it said I was headed North when in fact I knew that I was, no doubt about it, headed directly south. So I gently jiggled it, the needle switched positions then again reported that I was, in fact, headed North.
So I said, “Hey, what’s going on here I don’t think you’re pointed North.”
The retort, “I’m a magnetic Compass that points you to North. You have to figure the rest of it out on your own.”
I said, “It seems you’re telling me that South is North.”
“I call it the way I see it.”
I said, “Yeah, but you’re seeing it wrong.”
It said, “Well, you’re right. To tell you the truth, I don’t show you true North. True North is is about 12° to the right of where I point you.”
I muttered something such as, “Yea, plus another 168°.”
I said, “168°. If you take that amount plus the 12° you say you differ from true North you come up equal to 180°. I briefly waited. . . no reply.
Oh, well. I laid down the compass on the passenger seat as the light turned green. In a few miles I turned to the right on a good, straight road. I came up to a stop sign. Several cars were coming down the road so I knew I would be there a minute; I looked again at my little Compass which told me I was headed — you guessed it — North. Now I may not be the brightest kid on the block, but I know that when you’re headed South and you turn to the right you are now heading West: at least on planet Earth you are; it would not matter if you are in the Northern or Southern Hemisphere. So I asked, “Hey, what gives?”
“Just reading’ it the way I see it.”
I said, “You know we’re at odds again?” . . .No reply.
I was going to go straight but I decided to turn to the right. I traveled about a block and pulled over to look at at Compass and it said of all things — North! Eureka! “Things are as it should be,” I said.
“Tanks, just doin’ ma thing,” came the reply from the Compass. (I am beginning to think this contraption seems to be able to show some ‘attitude’.)
So with no one coming I performed a flawless three point turn around and before going back into the moving lane I looked at the Compass. It again said: North. I inquired, “Does your needle ever say anything except North?”
“No. I am tuned for North, all the time, day, night, rain, shine, whatever.”
I said, “But every time I turn you always tell me I’m headed North. And since our location is not precisely on top of the magnetic South Pole, something’s got to be up.”
In reflecting about this I managed to think about how sin can keep us from the things we should be doing. We have a natural ability to migrate in the wrong direction. When this happens I need a change of perspective; fresh insight into what is happening.
I am not sure why I did what I am about to do, but I opened the car door and exited the vehicle, walking in the same direction as I was last headed, taking the Compass with me. A little ways from the car, looking at the Compass, the direction I was walking read — South! It was amazing! Free of the magnetic entanglements from the Car’s electric gadgetry the compass could detect true North!
Well, at least it was only 12° off.
Isn’t that the way it is in Real Life, though. Our Compass, or rather whatever is on our mind, becomes attracted to the wrong thing — something alluring — to us. So we head off in the wrong direction while thinking we are going the right way. (Or at least we think we are within 12° of whatever it is we thought we were headed for.)