Friday, September 21, 2012

Your Orienting Reality

A Devotional by Margot Cioccio

A series of paintings I'm still working on.
James 1:12-14 (NASB)
12 Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. 13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. 14 But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust.

The other day I came across the idea of one's "orienting reality".  Its a map and compass kind of idea, in which one orients the map with the compass so as to know which way is really North. Here's a quote I found at compassdude.com "A map represents the real world. By orienting a map, you are positioning it so its North is actually pointing North. When you orient a map and know where you are on the map, you can look in a certain direction and see a real landmark and find it on the map."
So I can feel you scratching your head and asking  - ok so where is this going and how does it relate to this verse. 

I at times can feel directionless or feel lost and not know where I should be heading or focusing my time and energy. You may have it all mapped out for you. You get up, go to work, go home and repeat pretty much the same thing every day. For me some days are mapped out but others are a big blank canvas of possibilities. I like it when I'm in the middle of a big project because I can see where I'm heading and know what I'm supposed to be doing. Where I struggle is in the in between's. It is in the in between's that it is really important to have an orienting reality. If you are flying in an airplane or a ship at sea it is really important to know where North really is particularly when there are no land marks by which to orient one's self. One can get lost and head in the wrong direction and find no place to land when you run out of gas.

It is easy when we loose sight of our orienting reality to become tempted to go and do things that lie in the wrong direction. If we are not careful can find our selves at a place of vulnerability because we are tired, confused, depressed or burned out from doing and traveling and have lost sight of where we were going or why we were going in a particular direction. 

So what orients you? How do you decide what way to go? What is the right choice? 

For me Jesus is my true North, and the compass by which I try to orient my life. We endure temptation by staying close to Jesus and knowing his direction for our life. When he becomes our desire we are not as susceptible to be drawn away or enticed by things that would head us in the wrong direction. It is not that I must be so "good" but simply be His. So I ask myself, do my plans and choices draw me to Him or away from Him. Will this choice cause me to rely on him or my on my own independence. For me a temptation is busyness in light of His call for me is to be in His presence. I can go a long way just keeping busy and if I am not careful find myself too tired for the things that He really is calling me to do. It's not that I am advocating doing nothing but I must set my heart and mind in such a ways as to include Him in my daily duties. I have to refrain from chasing after things to do and wait for Him to give me the direction for the next leg of the journey. 

Prayer:
Dear Lord, Help us to each focus on knowing and loving you, and being know and loved by you. Help us to not just run away by keeping busy but to truly seek you to know where we are to put our time and energy. Be our orienting reality, our compass. Help us to quickly realize when we have strayed away from your presence and purposes for our life.  

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