That difference doesn’t matter for a short trip, like Chicago to Milwaukee. But it is disastrous for a long journey, like from Chicago to Hawaii. Then, the flight will disappear somewhere in the Pacific Ocean, without ever getting close to Hawaii.
Likewise, there seems to be a small difference between the “True North” of our mind & soul, and the “Magnetic North” of our wants & appetites. The “True North” of our mind & soul seeks the ultimate “Truth and Good”. The “Magnetic North” of our wants and appetites seek the immediate gratification of: Wealth, Fame, Power, and Pleasure. In the short run, it may not matter. But over our lifetime journey, the difference is disastrous.
Our mind is a relentless search engine. It wants to know everything, about everything. It is constantly searching for the ultimate, immutable “Truth”. Along the way, it finds functional truth that allows us to live, work, and play. But it constantly seeks the absolute “Truth” of our existence, which is more than our families, job, hobbies, etc. All those things are transient. The absolute “Truth” is eternal. So, our mind’s restless search continues.
Likewise, our “Soul” relentlessly searches for the “Good”, our ultimate, enduring happiness. In the short term, the satisfaction of gratuitous appetites appears sufficient. Over a lifetime, that journey ends up so lost, in a place so dark. Suicides of the rich & famous are the sad testimony that fortune and fame are not the solutions they promise to be. They are illusions. Power and pleasure are equally ephemeral, subject to the whims of a capricious culture and the disillusions of unsatisfied appetites. So, our Souls’ restless search for the absolute “Good” continues. (“As the deer pants for the flowing stream, so our soul thirsts for the Living God.”)
Clearly, the “True North” of our Mind & Soul is not found in the transient things on earth. It is found in the eternal Truth and Good of God. God is Love. The counter-intuitive Spiritual Physics is that God’s unconditional love vertically flows through us, horizontally to others, and back to God, and so on, and so on. The more we share God’s love with others, the more is given to us. (If hoarded, it withers and dies, like the manna in the desert.) Our happiness grows the more we share it with others. That’s the Spiritual Paradox.
Confirmation of the above statements is found in the simple prayer of Thomas Aquinas: “Lord, you made us for Yourself, therefore our heart is restless, until it rests in Thee.” The question remains, “What must we do for our heart to rest in the Palm of God’s hand? The answer is “Immense Patience”.
“Immense Patience” allows us to remove the obstacles from preventing God’s Grace to land in our hearts. It takes time to remove self-reliance as the answer to our security. It takes time to remove prejudice and recognize that others are made in the image and likeness of God. It takes time to accept and practice the counter-intuitive notion of Love: Giving who we are and what we have to others, asking nothing in return. Yet, we receive more of God’s grace to share, when we give it away, by caring for others. It takes “Immense Patience” to do those things.
Humility and gratitude are a pert of “Immense Patience”. Humility acknowledges that we are a creature of the “Creator”. Gratitude recognizes that we are sinners reconciled to God by a Loving Redeemer. Then, we can play “Catch” with God. God throws us a “ball of grace”, and we throw it to others, who throws it back, and so on. That game of “Catch” is called “Love”. That game experiences no “Loss”. That game is played with joy…and never ends.
All it takes is “Immense Patience” to play.