Clock or Compass?


north star

We live by the clock. Running as fast as we can, trying to cram in one more thing. We vie with each other for the distinction of being the “busiest.”

In his book First Things First, Stephen Covey suggests a different orientation. We ought to live not by the clock but by the compass, finding our true North, the inner direction that leads us to happiness and joy and the care of those God has given us to love.

When we get up in the morning, rather than checking the clock and opening the calendar on our phones to see what we “have to do today,” we ought to check our compass. Ask, “Where am I headed today? Where is my North star?”

This is the eve of Epiphany, when those three magi came following the star of Bethlehem. They were not clock-watchers. They were men of the compass, persisting in one clear direction (even though the destination was anything but clear).

This Epiphany moment offers us each an opportunity to check our North star. What am I pursuing? What (or whom) do I allow to direct my course?

It is so easy to lose our way, easier still to be lost and directionless and yet “incredibly busy.” I have written down the three most important things in my life. That piece of paper sits on my dresser, where I see it most every morning as I get ready for the day. It is my true North.

You might want to do that as well, write down the most important things in your life—the things you do not want to lose sight of, the vision toward which you wish more than anything else to journey.

4 Responses to Clock or Compass?
  1. Matt
    January 5, 2015 | 9:53 am

    Love this! Letting the 3 most important things dictate your day and direction instead of churning through ‘to do’ lists and wondering why I never get anywhere meaningful. Good stuff.

  2. Susan
    January 5, 2015 | 12:12 pm

    Love this too! Simple and doable — my 3 most important things reminding me what is most important each day. Thanks.

  3. Michael Anderson
    January 5, 2015 | 9:33 pm

    Well, now I’m wondering what’s on David’s list? A few days ago, I listed three goals for 2015 but I’m guessing this is not about resolutions for the new year! I just added a fourth: find my true north.

  4. clark Johnson
    January 6, 2015 | 2:26 pm

    As I age, each day is more precious. None of us realy know how many we have,so I try to start each day with a prayer and a couple of other to do’s but prayer is first

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