Compasses and Callings
In the 1996 film, Mr. Holland’s Opus, an aspiring composer gets a job as a high school music teacher. Mr. Holland had barely begun his teaching career when Principal Jacobs approached him. He pointed out his strengths to her: he arrived on time, efficiently completed his tasks, and went home on time. Yet Principal Jacobs noticed a void in the young band director. She tells him, “A teacher has two jobs: fill young minds with knowledge, yes, but more important give those minds a compass… I don’t know what you’re doing with the knowledge, but as a compass, you’re stuck.”
Compasses provide guidance. direction. location, a sense of place. Mr. Holland struggled to give compasses to his students because his own was out-of-order. His goal was to compose his own music. He had his eyes on a distant dream, a calling to change the world with his own music. With his vision so fixed on a future, distant place, he was oblivious to his current place–and the students right in front of him in search of their own callings.
When we talk about our “callings,” we often jump to language of action. Like Mr. Holland, we fixate on doing something else to the point of losing sight of where God has called us for such a time as this. We associate calling with what we are currently doing with our lives or what we hope to do with our lives. Yet in Isaiah 6, when the Lord asks who will go, Isaiah’s first response is not “send me.” The action comes second. His initial response is “Here I am.” Simply being before acting. Showing up. Checking his compass.
Mr. Holland soon finds his sense of direction both as teacher and musician. Let us all join in Isaiah’s prayer first, action second, and watch God’s glorious future unfold in us.
all good things to each other,
Lectionary Texts for Trinity Sunday
Proverbs 8:1-4, 22-31
John 16: 12-15
The Staff Parish Relations Committee has been notified by Bishop James E Swanson, Sr and the Cabinet of the Mississippi Conference that Pastor Darian has been appointed to FUMC-WP for another year. We give thanks for Pastor Darian’s ministry and look forward to her continued service as our pastor, teacher, leader and friend in Christ. We ask for your prayers for her as well as for the churches and pastors throughout Mississippi that share this time with us.
In Christ, Robin McCormick