A compass on a steel yacht would be misleading if there weren’t magnets to keep it reading true. Those who sail need to be able to know that they can trust the direction the compass is showing them. Each compass needs to be swung, for if it’s incorrect by even 5°, it’ll mean sailors are really ‘at sea’, ending up where they didn’t want to be.
Like a compass that’s trying to tell us where to head, so our emotions are trying to communicate with us. We can’t just assume the compass is right though. Neither can we automatically assume that what our fear is telling us to do is correct. Our fears sometimes need to be recalibrated so we can trust them to give us good life direction.
On old maps were warnings about going any further for fear of falling off the edge of the earth and in some corners were said to be dragons. Fear governed those areas for it put terror into the hearts of those wanting to explore. Fear achieves the same in us and inside are lots of places we don’t go to. Fear has eroded our confidence and made us want to stay in the world we know. So we lose out on all the joys and surprises of the undiscovered and unexplored places in ourselves.
We may be constrained, for example, because we always fear what people think or it might be fear of making mistakes or perhaps of not coping in the future, but our ‘common sense’ based on our fears is taking life from us.
Within us is an explorer encouraging us to take risks into our unknown world, which some believe is craziness. Our fears say, ‘Be careful’, but we need to set sail, to find that awful dragon, to embrace the monster of our fear, hear its’ need and understand its’ longing. We will need others to see where our inner compass is ‘out of kilter’, people who don’t just agree with our circular thinking.
God won’t just override what we’ve chosen to believe, but with Him we can start to move against our drift, back onto a life-giving course, by degrees. We will find that what we feared, now understood and heard, has shrunk, and that we now live in a far more exciting reality.