Compass: God is North, South, East & West

given on June 22, 2014

How often does one hear a song that triggers almost an immediate response and becomes unforgettable? The song as written may not be heard in quite the same mental context and becomes transformational. Remember the song, “My Guy (My God)”, in Sister Act? Whoopi’s character was far from the true nature of a nun, but when she put on the habit and belted out the words of “My God/ Nothing you could say/ Could tear me away/ from my God. . . ” no one ever doubts the God-centered message of the song.

Lady Antebellum is a contemporary country group, so I hear the music in the car. The day I heard Compass, I was captured by the words. I know that the words were not necessarily intended to become a spirit-moving hymn, but in my mental frame it is:

[Play “Compass”]

Yea it’s been a bumpy road
Roller coasters high and low
Fill the tank and drive the car
Pedal fast, pedal hard
You won’t have to go that far

You want to give up cause it’s dark
We’re really not that far apart

So let your heart sweet heart be your compass when you’re lost
And you should follow it wherever it may go
When it’s all said and done you can walk instead of run
‘Cause no matter what you’ll never be alone
Never be alone
Never be alone

Forgot directions on your way
Don’t close your eyes don’t be afraid
We might be crazy late at night
I can’t wait til you arrive
Follow stars you’ll be alright

You want to give up cause it’s dark
We’re really not that far apart

So let your heart sweet heart be your compass when you’re lost
And you should follow it wherever it may go
When it’s all said and done you can walk instead of run
‘Cause no matter what you’ll never be alone
Never be alone
Never be alone

You want to give up cause it’s dark
We’re really not that far apart

So let your heart sweetheart be your compass when you’re lost
And you should follow it wherever it may go
When it’s all said and done you can walk instead of run
‘Cause no matter what you’ll never be alone
Never be alone
Never be alone

When it’s all said and done you can walk instead of run
‘Cause no matter what you’ll never be alone

(Accessed on June 21, 2014 at http://www.metrolyrics.com/compass-lyrics-lady-antebellum.html)

 

Take a close look at those lyrics. One phrase is the only key that separates the country music hit from a church hymn, “heart, sweet heart.” In fact, a search for the lyrics reveals two ways of reporting those words, too. In one, sweetheart is one word while the second one separates them into two. When looking over the sheet music, two separate words are listed and that makes the song easier into a hymn.

The messages in music sometimes sink down into our minds/psyches deeper than any other method. Many times we hear a song and cannot let go of the words. They simply echo through our brain for hours. Once you finally disengage from it, life resumes.

Imagine how the Psalms were received when first shared. Do you think the listeners reacted the same as we do when we hear a new song played? The accompaniment might have been nothing more than a lyre or a flute, and the tune probably was catchy. God uses so many different ways to talk with us, and the music we hear could be filled with God’s messages—or Satan’s for that matter.

When reading through Psalms 17, I could see a very similar message to what I heard in Compass. The message is clearly to follow God’s direction. He is he way. By following God, we cannot be lost:

God, I call out to you because you will answer me.
Listen to me. Hear my prayer.
Show the wonder of your great love.
By using your powerful right hand,
you save those who go to you for safety from their enemies.
Take good care of me, just as you would take care of your own eyes.
Hide me in the shadow of your wings.
Save me from the sinful people who attack me.
Save me from my deadly enemies who are all around me.

This is one of the most compelling themes of the Bible both in the Old and the New Testament.

In Romans, Paul includes a similar theme; and by translating how the theme works into how a compass works:

12 So don’t let sin rule your body, which is going to die. Don’t obey its evil longings. 13 Don’t give the parts of your body to serve sin. Don’t let them be used to do evil. Instead, give yourselves to God. You have been brought from death to life. Give the parts of your body to him to do what is right. 14 Sin will not be your master. Law does not rule you. God’s grace has set you free.

God is the way. He is our compass, and he will take care of us even if we do take the wrong turn once and a while. All we have to do is stop, check the compass, and then continue on with him in the lead.

This summer while all the insanity of the world slams us from every angle—TV news, crazy schedules, health challenges, and rainy or dry weather—don’t forget to check your compass. Read the Bible regularly and listen for God’s directions, speak to him through payer. Listen for him through the words in our music or in the sounds of summer in the yard. Quiet yourself for a few moments each day so you can share your thoughts with God and he can share his with you as he never leaves your side:

So let your heart sweet heart be your compass when you’re lost
And you should follow it wherever it may go
When it’s all said and done you can walk instead of run
‘Cause no matter what you’ll never be alone
Never be alone
Never be alone

When it’s all said and done you can walk instead of run
‘Cause no matter what you’ll never be alone

[Play “Compass” a second time.]

 

Closing Prayer

Dear Heavenly Father,

Our journey often makes us weary

And we struggle to stay on the right path.

Be our compass, we ask.

Speak to us in ways we hear you clearly.

Let us, too, serve others who need you.

When we look to the North,

We see the gift of your son, Jesus.

When we look to the South,

We see the journey to Egypt.

When we look to the East,

We see the Wise Men following the Star.

And when look to the West,

We see the promise of Eternal Life.

Thank you for your words

In psalms, in scripture, and in songs.

 

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