The Compass

In the summer of 1994, I took a small group of teens to Red River, New Mexico to hike and camp. It was a great trip filled with first time experiences and unforgettable moments. We camped at a place called Middle Fork Lake. It’s a two hour hike to get up to this little lake sitting on top of a mountain just south of Red River.

After four days of camping and hiking, we broke camp and hiked back down to our van. We stacked the gear by the car and I walked around to the driver’s side door. When I inserted the key to unlock the doors I saw it. Resting on the edge of window, what looked like a pocket-watch.  You see it here, just as it appeared that day. I’m not even sure how it stayed in place. I picked it up and pressed the button on top. The lip popped open and the needle spun around looking for north. It is shiny stainless steel and the needle and primary points have glow in the dark highlights. I quickly looked around, but there were no other people and no other cars there. It appeared to have been set there by someone who simply walked  away.

Being a sign seeker from way back, with no way to track down the person who lost it, I took it as a sign that I should hang on to it. I thought it would be important to my future for some reason. I kept the compass in my office for several years. But sometime in the late 90s, it disappeared and I thought someone lifted it. I’ve looked for one like it for a long time, but without success. In recent years I’ve collected a number of different styles. None are as cherished as that first one.

I wanted to plant a church and call it Compass Church; simple biblical leadership for regular people. That never came to pass. I worked with a church for a while and hoped to make the compass a part of that churches new life, but they rejected the notion of new life. So last year when the company that I worked for closed, I decided to start my own drafting service and I never thought twice about what to call it. Compass Drafting was born. You can visit that web site at

Last weekend, while cleaning the garage and attic, my daughter found the original compass in a box of her things. We don’t know how it ended up there, but with all of our moves over the late 90s, anything is possible. Or it could just be that for the second time in my life, the compass found me. I told my friend Vince this past week, “It’s one thing to know you need to go north, it’s another to know which way north is.” I’ve always known which direction to go, but I haven’t always been able to find it. Here’s hoping the compass is back to get me pointed where I need to go.

mt out

1 Responses to The Compass

  1. Bill says:

    Pretty cool Clyde!

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