A compass is true. When you desire to know a direction, a compass should be your tool of choice. If used properly, a compass will not lie. No matter how many times you find yourself spinning in circles… the compass will remain steady.
A map provides guidance. When you desire to know your surroundings and where perils may fall, a map should be your tool of choice. If used properly, a map will lead you safely to your desired destination. No matter which way you hold, fold, or drop it… the map will be ready to be read.
Recently I saw the movie, Lincoln, in theaters. I really don’t think I enjoyed it as much as I would have hoped. But for one reason or another, the movie has been on my mind ever since I left the showing.
A particular scene finds Lincoln and an associate (Thaddeus Stevens I believe) discussing the ending of slavery through the 13th Amendment as well as the ending of the Civil War. The details of the scene are hazy and unfortunately, no good quote walls are up on the Internet, yet, with the movie still being in theaters. But the spirit of the scene rings clear.
A man can not live with just his compass just as a man can not live with just his map. They work together to bring him to his destination and one without the other will lead to confusion and possible mishap. A compass on its own will not protect a man from potential dangerous paths just as a map on its own will not direct him where north truly lies.
While it may be clear that the shortest path to your destination whether physical, mental, or moral, might be true north, you may not arrive at all should you head that direction blindly.