I once was lost, but look what I found!

The kids and I went to a nature preserve last month for my son’s 9th birthday. Being the only one with a warm-weather birthday, Joshua insisted that we explore the outdoors as a part of his celebration.  I had been to the trails before, so I anticipated a good two hours of walking. Consequently, I set my alarm for three o’clock to give us plenty of time to sightsee, head back to the car, and catch the 3:45 showing of Angry Birds at the nearest Studio Movie Grill.  They really enjoyed skipping rocks in the pond, listening to the sounds of nature, and overlooking the entire preserve from it’s highest peak. My plan was working perfectly… until three o’clock.  

We were deep into the woods when my alarm sounded. I knew we needed to reach the car by 3:20 to make it to the theater on time. I decided to take some shortcuts off the pavement to get there faster, but somehow we ended up…lost! We didn’t see our car on the other side of the fence. We were instead, surrounded by mini mansions in an upscale neighborhood while looking like four sweaty hitchhikers.  Josh looked up at me and asked, “Mom, are we lost?” I was slightly annoyed by his question because I was completely embarrassed by the truth.  My response however was, “You’re totally missing these beautiful houses.” At that point I did what any smart person would do. I activated the GPS on my phone only to discover that we were 42 walking minutes away from the car. My heart dropped.  We were certain to miss the movie and my feet were hurting. We had no choice but to walk, so we followed the GPS directions precisely.  At 15 walking minutes left, we saw the car. How did we shave off 15 minutes?  Well, the GPS was leading us to the beginning of the trail and we only needed to get to the parking lot.  We missed the 3:45 show of course but it’s all good. We found an even better Studio Movie Grill near some pretty cool shops and caught the 5:30 showing.  Happy Birthday Josh! 

It’s interesting how we can find ourselves completely lost in a place where we’ve been before. While all looks well on the outside, we are a ball of confusion on the inside. We are confused over how we ended up with another dead end job, another bad relationship, or another failed venture of any sort. Sometimes, unforeseeable circumstances force us to deal with life’s challenges.  Other times, we have to admit that we’ve made some wrong turns.  In my attempt to rush to the car, I led myself farther from it. I have also ruined recipes and misappropriated relationships behind skipping steps that quite frankly, seemed trivial to me. My response to Joshua’s question demonstrates how defensive we can be when confronted with the truth. Be careful with your defenses. Pride will cause you to look for excuses when you should be looking for help.  Activate your GPS as soon as possible.  God already knows where you are, and He has a voice lined up to tell you where to go. 

Allow me to reiterate that we missed the 3:45 movie showing. You too, will experience some delays as a result of your choices.  Trust that opportunity will knock again, but what goodies can you gather in the meantime?  While walking to the car, I saw some beautiful houses.  I also discovered that I can walk over 6 miles in one setting and not die. Most importantly, I realized that I have the best kids ever! They knew we were lost, and they knew it was my fault. Nevertheless, they kept silent to keep me calm…and secure their chances of going to the movies once we found our way. I can honestly admit to feeling lost when I created this blog site. I still don’t have an answer for all of my heart’s questions. Yet, I find myself composing this piece after presenting my thoughts on healing through writing at a conference in Minnesota. Opportunity knocked!

Did you know that you are one decision away from your destiny? Don’t frustrate your destiny with defeat,  keep going.  I pray that you will be encouraged, and not embarrassed to seek wise council. Keep going!  We all have been lost, but what have you found? I have found a great deal of peace in this process called moving forward. 

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