Month: December 2015

How Do You Navigate Life?

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You’re a wanderer, a cosmic vagrant lost in space and time. You’ve spent your life stumbling about in a drunken stupor. You flit aimlessly from one moment to the next. You have no idea where you came from, and you have no idea where you’re supposed to go.

What’s your purpose? Do you have a purpose? All you know for certain is that at some point you’ll run out of gas, that your body, your vehicle for this cosmic journey, will break down. From time to time, you wonder where you’ll be when that happens. Will you have reached your destination, or will you instead realize all too late that you were stranded, shipwrecked and left to die alone in a foreign place that you were never meant to call your own?

If only you could tell North from South. You’re certain that with a push in the right direction you could someday realize and fulfill your purpose. You sometimes wonder, “How do I navigate life?”

1. Find your compass.

You know you exist for a reason. You’ve known since you were a child. It’s a fundamental component of your humanity. It’s hard-wired into your DNA. There was a time when you heard the cosmos’s call. But age and responsibilities ushered in a host of distractions, until one day you realized you were lost. You despaired. You wondered if all that mumbo-jumbo about purpose and design might be just a bunch of whohaa.

To rediscover your purpose, to figure out the direction you must travel, you first have to find your compass. It was custom built for you. It guides you, tells you where to go so you can push forward confidently in the dark. To find it, you must tune out exterior distractions. You must reflect in silence and in prayer. You must examine yourself, with all of your many strengths and faults. You must dive into your deepest and truest self. There, in the stillness of your heart you’ll find it, a burning white-hot fire, a passion so brilliant you’ll wonder how you ever could have missed it.

2. Follow your compass.

Finding it will do no good if you aren’t willing to pack up your bags and move. You’ve discovered some inkling of what it is you may be called to do, a general sense of direction that calls to you from the very fabric of space and time itself. Now you’re faced with the noble task of pursuing it.

Following your compass is not like following a map. There are no clearly marked roads or highways, no drawn-to-scale features designed to tell you how many miles in your journey remain. Nor will you be provided an exhaustive list of all the perils, dangers and mysteries you might encounter along the way. You have only an awareness of direction, a resonant hum inside your soul that deepens as you align with your purpose and diminishes as you turn away from it.

You won’t be certain what you’re supposed to do. But by following the needle in your compass, by pressing forward, you’ll find clues, road signs, symbols and landmarks to help you navigate, to orient you, to help you know where you stand.

3. Keep your compass in sight.

To navigate successfully to the very end, to find your way home, you must always keep your compass in sight. You should examine your progress daily and be willing to set aside distractions. There are exotic lands all around us, and all too often you’ll be tempted to stray from the path to explore them. But the more you stray, the more difficult it will be to find your way back. You must always hold the light of your compass close.

The answers you seek can be yours.

Life is daunting. In a universe where you can so easily lose your way, any effort to find yourself will seem rife with futility. But by locating and following your compass, and by never letting it out of your sight, you’ll soon see the cosmos transformed, from an opaque and incomprehensible void to a place of growing, learning and understanding. Armed with your compass, you can be confident that one day, with the help of your Creator, you will at last approach the throne of existence, ready to receive the answers you seek and more.

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Friday Freewrite

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What’s Friday Freewrite? Find out here.

He saw the old man standing there after communion1, looking so serene. Surely heaven2 waited for the likes of him. But what if he were to stumble? To fall, to lose grace before he met his end?3, 4

He could make sure the man got to heaven2, could hasten his appointment with Christ to make sure he was in a state of grace when he died.

Yes, God would be pleased with him for his holy work, for his effort to save a soul.

He lunged forward, knife in hand. He would set the man free.

The congregation spoke out in unison5, a low bass monotone thrum, and Jason couldn’t help but be reminded of the Borg6. “Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated.”


1. This came to me during mass one Sunday. It’s based on a deranged man’s perverted understanding of Catholic theology concerning the “state of grace” and its necessity for salvation (see footnote #4 for more on this.) I like to explore humanity from peculiar angles.

2. Heaven should be capitalized.

3. The last two sentences sound better and make more sense if written like this: “But what if he were to stumble, to fall from grace before he met his end?”

4. Catholics believe that one can lose their salvation by sinning gravely and by not repenting of that sin before they die. Through the lens of insanity, the deranged individual reasons that the old man, on account of his holy appearance, must be in a state of grace. He further concludes that since it’s possible the old man might sin gravely in the future and therefore lose his salvation, he can do him a favor by killing him now, therefore guaranteeing the old man a place in Heaven.

5. At first, I didn’t want to include this passage because I thought it would detract from the more serious and horrific one that precedes it. But I wrote both of these on the same day and they share a common theme, so I decided to go for it.

6. If you’ve ever watched Star Trek, you’ll get the reference 🙂

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