I’m getting more adventurous now that I’ve got more energy. My daily walks are stretching longer each day. Last week, I realized that my minutes were adding up to something more substantial, something that might get me outside the confines of my apartment complex. I’ve enjoyed getting to know my neighbors a little better, and I’ve come to know the comings and goings of all the maintenance workers like clockwork. But, I was ready to push it a little further and venture into the wide and wondrous world.
Equipped with my water bottle, a roadmap, and a cell phone, I took off in a direction that I’ll call North, but as you’ll soon learn, that all depends on which way you hold the map.
My neighborhood’s arrangement makes no logical sense to me. No roads travel straight for very long, it climbs and drops with unpredictable hills, and the urban planners had absolutely no creativity when they named the streets. Within one block, you’ll see 177th place, 177th road, and 177th avenue. A mile away, they’ll throw in another 177th, but it will be a North or a South, or perhaps an East or a West.
I picked a road, we’ll call it 177th, but it doesn’t matter because even though I committed to walking along it and never wavered off course, I noticed that the road had changed names on me, and I had gone in so many twists and turns, I forgot the direction from which I’d come. I pulled out my map and scratched my head, as I tried to locate which 177th I’d left, and which 144th I was on. Those roads never met, so apparently, 177th had changed a couple times before I’d noticed.
I saw homes that I’d never seen before, but I was growing very tired, and I just wanted to get home. I kept walking, hoping that I’d see something familiar or run into a street, road, place, or something that was clearly marked on the map. There weren’t even any nice cats for me to play with along the way.
A half an hour went by, and I was getting very tired. I still had no clue where I was. I shuffled along the road, only to take a few bad turns that ended up as dead ends. I’d taken to walking while holding my map, hoping to see some street that looked familiar.
After about 45 minutes, I started to recognize the neighborhood, but I still couldn’t find it on the map. Depressed, exhausted, embarrassed, and very dizzy, I collapsed on the sidewalk. Well, that sounds more dramatic than it was. In actuality, I sat my sorry rear end on the curb and started to cry.
Eventually, I got out my cell phone and called my husband, who by that time had arrived home from work. I read him the sign at the intersection, and he used that information to find me with the car.
He had no problem finding me. He’s a great navigator.
In my life, I frequently get lost because I am stubborn. I struggle to find my own way, only to find myself utterly off course. Like my loving husband who comes to my rescue, God’s always been there to find me and help when I ask. But I only seem to ask when I’m at my wits end, when I’ve reached the end of my power and am a useless pile sitting on the curb.
Why not consult my navigator before I take off on the journey? He knows the road; he’s got the best plan. At the beginning of my day, I can ask him for help, for directions. But, I also need to remember to call out to him at the first sign of trouble, instead of waiting until the bitter end. He’s always there, always ready and waiting for us to ask for directions when we’re lost.
For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost (Luke 19:10).