In 4 days my daughter and I, for her sixteenth birthday, are going to Paris. She has been looking forward to this for approx. 10 years. However, the original plan was to go with daddy. But, now that she is going to be 16, we are realizing there are just certain parts of a Paris trip that might be better suited for a mom-daughter experience (perfume shops, cafes, shopping, and other girly adventures, for example). But I have to confess something to you-I am scared. Actually, today I am less terrified than I was a few months ago when we decided I would be the “adult” going. I am a fairly confident person, so when I mention this to my friends they assure me that I am fully capable of this task. This confounds me also. I finally figured out what it is that is giving me anxiety about this trip. I realized a few days ago that the answer is simple: I am afraid of getting lost. I am a Real Estate agent who uses google maps to get around my hometown where I have lived for over 20 years. So now, you are telling me, that I have to get my daughter and I safely around Paris using an actual paper map and getting directions from people who may or may not speak English? Sounds ominous.
Once I identified this fear, i was able to address the fact that ultimately, getting “lost” is not the end of the world. If it happens, I can simply take an Uber back to the hotel (A fancy hotel in Versailles that most anyone could find). End of story. No need to panic.
And now, since I have been pondering the idea of getting lost for several days, I have a few other thoughts on the matter. You know me well enough by now to know that I have to relate this to soul-level stuff. The first thing to remember is that you are not truly lost if you know where you are at the moment. You may not have intended to go there and it may not be where you want to stay, but being aware of your current location is crucial to being “un-lost.” Being in the moment and embracing it can help you avoid feeling lost. Maybe, just maybe, the place you are standing is not an accident. Quite often, I have made detailed, extravagant plans to go one place, and have ended up somewhere entirely different. God has a way of redirecting us when we plow ahead without Him. Maybe we are supposed to be in the very place we are trying desperately to get out of.
In spite of all that, there are some times when I am legitimately “lost”; When I have landed in a place that no one should go alone and one should make every effort to avoid going again. I usually got there as a result of one of the following: 1) I was arrogant and refused to ask for directions. I didn’t ask for wisdom from anyone, including God. I wanted to do it my way and only my way. 2) I didn’t trust the Navigator. Even when I was instructed clearly by a Source that knows me better than I know myself, I doubted and ended up taking some wrong turns. 3)Sometimes i just got distracted. It wasn’t an intentional, will-ful defiance. I just spaced out or was giving more attention to people and things around me than to where I was headed.
So as I anticipate going to Paris and as I consider moving forward in all areas of my life, I hear one clear message in my mind: “Getting lost won’t kill you. Staying lost just might.” I don’t think anyone is immune from the possibility of “lostness”. And maybe what you think of as “lost” is actually “found”. God has a way of upsetting our apple cart. As long as we know where we are, we are exactly where we are supposed to be at that moment. We need to seek Him to find out if it’s time to keep moving forward towards him, turn around and retrace our steps back to Him, or simply enjoy the new scenery. No matter what we choose to do, we are not “lost”. God promises direction. A way home. A way back to ourselves and to Him. He is that Way. In Him we can always be found.