Finding Your Bearings...
For centuries sailors have used leading lines to guide their boats safely into harbour. When two prominent markers are directly in line, then the captain knows that his boat is on the correct bearing to miss the, often invisible, hazards. This type of navigational aid is particularly useful when strong crosswinds or currents might make it difficult to stay on your intended course. Having sailed for many years, my instinct on encountering this sculpture (Mr and Mrs, by John Gittins), was to see what it directed you to when the markers were lined up one behind the other.
At first observation it looks as if they have been placed in line with the cross, perhaps directing people to focus on this symbol as a way of giving us a sense of who God really is. A God who enters into the fullness of human dysfunction and redeems it, perhaps inviting us to contemplate what we must do in readiness for what lies ahead?
However, on closer inspection, it appears that when one is headed on the correct bearing, they in fact point towards an empty chair, an invitation to simply sit, to pause and simply be, be whatever it is that God is inviting us to be as we sit and spend time immersed in the beauty of God’s creation.
It is all a matter of perspective. As the story of Mary and Martha (Luke 10:38-42) reminds us, it is easy to get distracted with preparations, but only one thing really matters – spending time sitting quietly being with God. I find that when I start to loose my focus and sense of direction, it is easy, from my perspective, to feel challenged by what may lie ahead. But spending time in prayer enables my perspective becomes more aligned to that of God's, and I feel confident that I will be able to navigate through what appears like a rocky approach to the the next safe haven.
Have you tried changing your perspective when faced with challenges?
“For what you see and hear depends a good deal on where you are standing: it also depends on what sort of person you are.” - C.S. Lewis, The Magician's Nephew