Have you ever seen the movie Contact? If you haven’t, it’s a 1997 movie based on the novel by Carl Sagan. (As I write this, it makes me think I should invest my time in reading the novel). It stars Jodie Foster, Matthew McConaughey, and Tom Skerritt. Jodie Foster plays Dr. Ellie Arroway, an astronomer who searches and finds a signal from space that proves the existence of life on other planets. This signal sends plans to build a device, but they are not quite sure what it will do.
The Human Factor
Through the movie’s events, Jodie Foster’s character ends up on the vehicle to be transported to wherever it is to go. While building the capsule-like vehicle, the engineers were adding features that weren’t on the specs—features they feel are necessary. One is a seat with harnesses. The schematics didn’t have anywhere for the rider to sit, so how was the individual supposed to ride in safety? Dr. Arroway brings this up, and they assure her it is for her protection when the vehicle is launched.
A Choice to Make
Fast forward. During the mission, the seat that Dr. Arroway was strapped into begins to vibrate. The faster the compartment she is in seems to be traveling, the more violent the shaking becomes. Suddenly, she notices the necklace she had been wearing was floating calmly in front of her face. It occurs to her that maybe she didn’t need the seat she was in. She had a choice to make, unbuckle the safety harness to test her theory and either die or she would float, like that necklace.
The True Compass
How many times in our lives are we like that? We go off-script and trust what others tell us our lives should be like instead of following what we know we should do. So many times, we are given the schematics for how to live a happy life or the steps to experiencing success, and we hold on to them for dear life. Even when the world is shaking and tossing us about, we still won’t let go of those rules to live by. Then the true compass drifts by our face. We see it, but are we willing to believe that it is the true way?
Just Let Go
To experience peace and rest, we need to let go of the very things causing turmoil in our lives. For Dr. Arroway, it was the restraints of what the engineers thought was best for her. When in essence, it only held her back. For us, we often listen to others who believe they are acting in our best interests, when in reality, they are just limiting our potential. When we are forced to function within constraints, it can cause severe consequences. For Jodie Foster’s character, if she hadn’t unbuckled her restraints when she did, she most likely would’ve died. Following her compass saved her life.
Following Your Compass
We all can be like Dr. Arroway. We allow the schematics to get in our way. We see life and think we know better. “No, there needs to be a seat for our safety.” So, we build our life the way we think it should be. Then we get in the middle of it, and suddenly life hits us, and we are bumped and bruised and don’t know which end is up. Confused and unsure what to do now, we see that compass before us; the reminder of the original plan. All we need to do is let go of the schematic. Heh. Easier said than done, Jeff. Yeah, perhaps. But if you enjoy all the battering, be my guest. But when you see the compass, which always points true north, that guide will always lead you home. Trust in that should be enough. All it takes is unbuckling yourself of what is battering you and trusting that what the designer intended will sustain you.
Turn to the Designer
God is the designer. He has a plan for your life. We are the ones who often redraw the schematics to what we feel is best suited for us. Then we get tossed about by life and trials because we aren’t following God’s design. It’s time to let go of all of that and turn back to God. Unbuckle from our plans and float back into His. The compass floating before us can be His Word, a song on the radio, a friend with a testimony, or anything that grabs our attention and brings us back to realizing we are not where we should be.
It is then we can loosen the straps and fall into His comfort. If forgiveness is needed, request it because it is always granted. His love is never-ending. He is giving you the signs, attempting to make contact with you. It’s up to you to follow them. Will you make the choice today?