North Star

One of the things I learned in college literature was that a relatively high percentage of poems were about dead people. So if you are clueless about the underlying meaning of a poem, as good a guess as any would be to say the poem is about someone who died. THIS IS NOT COLLEGE LIT. I am referring to a cowboy poem about a person who is very much alive. This poem is as an old one. It has meter, stanzas and even (GASP!) rhyme. The refrain talks about pointing your wagon tongue toward the north star. The tongue of a wagon is the wooden beam that fits between the two horses. Every night, after unhitching the horses, the teamster would point the wagon tongue toward the north star. In the morning, if it was cloudy, they would know which way was north. The point is, sometimes we find ourselves in circumstances, where the direction is not clear- we need to check our reference point whenever we can. We need to keep our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.

It is interesting that part of the wagon is called the tongue. When the wagon is going forward, the tongue points the way. So it is with us – our tongue points the way. The Book of James compares the mouth of the horse with ours. As the bit in the horse’s mouth determines the direction, so does our mouth. We need to continually speak God’s Word. This will keep us heading in the right direction.

Elvin & Patty Thompson

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