As a child, getting lost in Woolco (not a typo, and yes it dates me horribly) or Sears was my worst nightmare. As a mom, the thought of a child lost, could keep me awake most of the night. Feeling lost is scary. The unfamiliar feels threatening and the cold fingers clenched around our hearts makes it hard to breathe. Being lost isn’t just a physical condition; we can be lost but in the line of vision of a loved one, a friend, a family member. How many of us feel lost on a daily basis but we are within reach of someone we know?
Our world no longer looks like it did. We haven’t got a clue what the next step is let alone a five year plan.
Or every day is the exact same as the one before it and we feel invisible in the mundane chores of making meals, cleaning up after kids, soothing hurt feelings or scraped knees. We are lost in the ordinary.
Perhaps, decades after walking down the aisle, the bright shiny newness of a marriage is long gone and we have retreated to our own lives and worlds. Is there a way out of invisibleness?
Hitting mid-life but feeling like we haven’t even begun to make our mark. But we’re “old” now and doesn’t the world belong to the young? Where do we go from here?
We just want someone to notice us. To invoke sense in this crazy place, called earth. So we turn to social media and post, hoping to get a bite. We try new mediations, new diets, new anything, just as long as it changes up the old. We look for direction everywhere but come up empty.
In this quest of being found, are there answers? Or a map? A map would be really good right about now. The answer is yes.
The first part involves a belief. I found this quote one day reading. I see myself in Susan May Warren’s words. Do you see yourself?
“Because she’d refused to believe she was important to Him. She’d been trying to get his attention, but already-always-had it…She had it whether she had logged miles for the gospel and saved hundred of lives, or if she simply wiped toddlers’ noses and did mounds of laundry. She had God’s attention because she was His child.” (P. 300, The Perfect Match, by Susan May Warren.)
Believing we are his child and that he pays attention to us, is perhaps the first step to finding our way. For some of us, this may be the hardest step because it means dealing with a lot of lies we have believed up to now. It’s going to take some work but it’s crucial if we really want to find our way.
Jeremiah gives us the next step.
This is what the Lord says:
“Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.” Jeremiah 6:16
We stand at a crossroads trying to figure out which way to take. We ask everyone who passes by or maybe we keep quiet, trying to figure it out on our own. The thing is, there is only one person who knows the way, who has the map but too often, he is the last one we seek. Sometimes it’s because we haven’t trusted we’re his child to begin with. Perhaps we’re mad at him or we want control of our lives. There are so many reasons and distractions that steer us away from him but He is our Way.
Ask for the ancient paths, which according to my NIV study bible, means the “tried and true ways of Judah’s godly ancestors.” This has worked before.
Ask where the good way is. Then walk in it. Ask, ask, walk; to find our way out of the dark, the confusion, the bitterness, or whatever else is making us feel lost or invisible. The result? Peace for our souls. And a map Home.