If you don’t get lost, there’s a chance you may never be found. ~Author Unknown
I have managed to get myself lost twice in the last week or so. Last week I was leaving a friend’s home in the dark. I have been there more than once. I know how to get there and back. But for some reason I took a wrong turn and ended up running into dead ends and circles. Nothing looked familiar. When I finally got my bearings I wondered how in the world I had got so muddled. It is still a mystery. A couple of days ago I went to deliver something to the home of friends who have just moved. They gave me directions. Again I wound up lost, took ages to meander round to where they were and when I headed home I realised that I had been just a few houses down from them when I took myself on a not so scenic route. I hate getting lost; and when I do I tend to get either really frustrated and angry or just plain scared. As I was driving around last week, I thought to myself “This is what my life feels like right now; this is what my life has felt like for a while. ” Like I am going in circles, like I cannot find my way; I feel lost. Not all the time. There are moments when everything seems clear and bright and I feel like I’ve “got it”. But it’s not long before all the doubt and confusion and fogginess set in. I find myself asking all sorts of questions about meaning and purpose and no matter what I am doing at any given moment, I feel there is perhaps something better I could be doing. It’s a maze of dead ends where every choice seems fraught with flaws and uncertainties. I am always second guessing myself. Ann Voskamp says that it takes all the seasons to grow a crop, and that we have to give ourselves to the season we are in now and let it do its work. I wonder what this season is about and why it seems so long. I wonder what I am really accomplishing and whether I am growing at all. But… what I am learning to do is to listen. I have spent so much time and effort trying to figure it all out, to find that trick that will make everything fall into place. My grandfather had these little puzzles. You can still get them. Some are made of wood and some of metal and you have to get them to fit together in some way or sometimes get them to come apart. At first glance it looks impossible but once you know the trick you realise how simple it was. Well I think I sometimes treat life like one of those puzzles, and the truth is that life is not a puzzle to be solved. It is a mystery to be entered into. Someone told me the other day that that we have to be quiet and wait for answers to emerge. It is in the stillness that God speaks, and a quiet mind is needed to hear. So maybe being lost is not a bad thing. Maybe if I can stop trying to find my way, I will find something better. Maybe this season is like winter, where although not much can be seen on the outside, roots are digging deeper, providing the nourishment and foundation for what the future holds.