The effect of the Coriolis force is an apparent deflection of the path of an object moving within a rotating coordinate system. The object does not actually deviate from its path, but it appears to do so because of the motion of the coordinate system. (Image and quote from Wikepedia).

In a world, among various "coordinate systems" of nuclear families, extended families, church families, work families, and club families; we are jostled, at times deflected in directions we never imagined.

I enjoy listening to young people dream of what life will bring them and what they will bring to it. I resist the temptation to inject reality. Youth is the season for innocent dreaming. Will there be both sunshine and rain? Sure. The unexpected? Of course! For some with a rough beginning, life may be better than they hoped or expected.

The chances are that whether we've "over-estimated" or "under-estimated," we have a better chance of winning the lottery than we did of plotting the courses of our lives. Following Christ, we know the ending, but isn't the journey to that end a continual surprise? In the midst of the reaping and the sowing, cause and effect, there dwells the unexpected.

Periodically, we ponder: Where am I? How did I angle off the set path?

What an experience it would be to see an aerial view of the orbit of our earthly existences, the way our omniscient Father does. "There's my child, Lisa," I imagine him saying. He's pointing to a solitary figure, wandering through a house, wondering where her children are and how the season of hands-on-mothering passed so quickly. "She may not know what's next," He says, "but I do."

There is an element of the human spirit longing to know: Where is my place? Where am I going? Pondering these philosophical questions can be so unproductive in the worldly sense. If you believed that God did not exist, wouldn't you think natural selection would have weeded out the desire to know a millennium ago? Yet the desire remains.

Conversely, in the spiritual sense, how productive the longing is. It leads to the Creator - the One with the answers, the One with the gravitational pull. In passive moments, I feel His tugging on me, and I give in to the joy of being led. Other times, I pull back; I don't want to go that way. Give me a different direction, or a whole new course, one that looks easier, or feeds my worldly desires. Isn't that just like a human being? Ask, ask, ask and then not find satisfaction in the answer?

Where am I?
But the heart of it is this: with Christ at the center, even if life feels off, as if I've just stepped from a spinning merry-go-round, my path is sure.

My path: understanding it, agreeing with it, loving it, fearing it — all possible, yet hopefully subordinate to peace. Perhaps, I took the very long, and very hard way around the barn, perhaps not. It doesn't matter. He knows where I am; it's where I should be, even if it wasn't what I envisioned in my youth. It's all mapped out, my sanctification to His glory.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8).