North Star

Imagine being in a boat in the middle of the ocean and having no landmarks visible for navigation. You can float along and hope that you are headed for shore (the one you intend to reach), or you can seek direction. The North Star is the only star in the heavens that never changes. It is always in the same place. It is an anchor. Sailors navigate across deep waters simply by seeking direction from that unchanging star.

The North Star is the prominent pole star that lies closest in the sky to the north celestial pole and which appears directly overhead to an observer at the Earth's North Pole; currently, this is Polaris. The North Star lies about two-thirds of a degree from the pole at the end of the "bob" of the Little Dipper in the constellation Ursa Minor. A common method for locating Polaris in the sky is to use the "pointer stars" which are the two stars furthest from the "handle" of the easily spotted Big Dipper (part of the constellation Ursa Major).

The North Star has historically been used for navigation, both to find the direction of north and to determine latitude. It has been used by lost campers to find their way back home. It always appears due north in the sky, and the angle it makes with respect to the horizon is equal to the latitude of the observer.

If you find the Big Dipper, you might be half way home. But the Dippers change and if you navigate with only those stars as your direction, you may go off course. If you focus on the North Star, it will always provide direction even in the darkest of nights.

Genesis 24: 10ff (the Message): “The servant took ten of his master's camels and, loaded with gifts from his master, traveled to Aram Naharaim and the city of Nahor. Outside the city, he made the camels kneel at a well. It was evening, the time when the women came to draw water.

So what does a story from Genesis have to do with the North Star? Let’s start with a bit of background. Abraham was getting old. He knew he didn’t have a lot of time and wanted to pass the torch to the next generation – his son, Isaac. He knew that it was important that Isaac find a good wife – one with virtue from his native land.
Abraham trusted his servant. He turned this task over to his trusted aid and set him on his way. You can read the entire passage in the book of Genesis, but bottom line is this: As the servant set out to find a wife for Isaac, he asked for direction from God.

Can you hear the plea of his voice as the servant prayed: "O GOD, God of my master Abraham, make things go smoothly this day; treat my master Abraham well! As I stand here by the spring while the young women of the town come out to get water, let the girl to whom I say, 'Lower your jug and give me a drink,' and who answers, 'Drink, and let me also water your camels'—let her be the woman you have picked out for your servant Isaac. Then I'll know that you're working graciously behind the scenes for my master."
This servant asked for directions (yes, HE asked for directions – men can do that). He turned to the one God that is never changing. The North Star. Never moving and always there. He laid his request on the line and waited for an answer.

You might know the rest of the story. Rebekah appears out of nowhere with a water jug on her shoulder and the rest is history. She was the answer to the servant’s prayer. God had the map laid out. This humble aid simply needed to ask for directions.

I taught Sunday School this past Sunday and shared this story with our church kids. I asked them what happened when they tried to play a game but didn’t know what the directions were. You can have all the pieces to a game, but if you don’t know what the directions are, the pieces are just that. If you don’t ask, you will not be able to receive the gift of participation in the game of life.

Yes, sometimes I hate asking for the directions. I even have a navigational system in my car so I don’t have to ask. Well, I think that just gives me more time to ask God for direction in the game of Life. Answered prayers are true gifts from our North Star, our guiding Light. Already this week, I’ve witnessed answered prayers. The community of Castle Pines North voted unanimously to approve the Lagae Park. Answered prayer. A friend received relief from the courts as it relates to a family issue. Answered prayer. Patience, persistence, and asking for direction is what God requires of you today.

Dear Master Creator,
Grant me humility today. Help me to walk along the path that you set in front of me. Help me to not take so darn many detours. After all, you know the way home and all I have to do is ask for directions. Amen.

Carole Schumacher

No comments (Add your own)

Add a New Comment


Comment Guidelines: No HTML is allowed. Off-topic or inappropriate comments will be edited or deleted. Thanks.