The Lost Compass

Journal Entry August 7, 2009:  My husband is hunched over a copy of Be Expert with Map and Compass, his reading glasses from the dollar store perched on the end of his nose.   We are planning a trip to the desert and while we both love to explore, my husband is concerned about getting lost; the region to which we are going is both desolate and vast.   

Three weeks ago he decided he wanted a compass for his birthday so he could begin to familarize himself with its properties.  After some on-line research, we headed for our local REI, where he selected a $13 Polaris Silva with a 5-star customer rating but soon after we arrived home, it seemed as if something wasn’t right.  “The red needle always points north,” he said.   I countered, “But that’s south.”  So my husband set about in his spare time trying to figure out what was wrong.

A few websites later, we began to wonder if the compass could have been constructed backwards.  But what were the chances?  His first compass?  From REI?  With a 5-star rating?  Our suspicion was confirmed when we visited a different sporting goods store and compared our compass with theirs; the red needle on my husband’s compass definitely pointed south.

“Ha,” I said, that’s God saying, “Do you think you know where you’re going?  Do you think you can find your way?” 

My husband now has a new compass, along with a GPS unit, an atlas of the area we plan to visit, and several reference books.   (REI, when told about the defective compass, promptly offered to replace it.)  We kept the old compass, though, the one in which the red needle erroneously points to the south.  It reminds us that no matter how much equipment we accumulate, only God knows where we’re going.

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