The Compass

compass

When we are certain that we understand how God is present in our world and have clearly defined the appropriate ways to respond to that presence, then our understanding becomes an idol and we fail to see God’s living presence.

Patricia O’Connell Killen and John de Beer in The Art of Theological Reflection (Crossroad 2003)

LogoBWG

The first man paced back and forth along the deck of the ship with his compass in hand. He jiggled it a bit and found the arrow unwavering. The compass told him what to do, but it scarcely made sense to him. He looked up at the stars and could tell which way he believed to be north, but the compass in his hand told him otherwise. Finally, he ordered the ship to sail in the direction the compass thought best.

LogoBWGThe second woman paced back and forth along the deck of the ship with her compass in hand. She jiggled it a bit and found the arrow unwavering. The compass told her what to do, but it scarcely made sense to her. She looked up at the stars but found the environment cloudy. She consulted the maps and saw that they too rebuffed the compass. In the end, however, she trusted the compass and the ship set sail.

LogoBWG

The third woman paced back and forth along the deck of the ship with her compass in hand. She jiggled it a bit and found the arrow unwavering. The compass told her what to do, but it scarcely made sense to her. She looked up at the stars and could tell which way she believed to be north, but the compass in her hand told her otherwise. Finally, she decided to trust the stars and the ship set sail.

LogoBWG

The fourth man paced back and forth along the deck of the ship with his compass in hand. He jiggled it a bit and found the arrow unwavering. The compass told him what to do, but it scarcely made sense to him. He looked up at the stars but found the environment cloudy. He consulted the maps and saw that they too rebuffed the compass. In the end he trusted the compass and the ship set sail.

 LogoBWG

Which of these do you think found the Kingdom of God?

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