Sometimes, you need to get lost in order to be found.
When you’re lost, you actually find out where you are.
In the wandering you find out where you’re heading.
A few weeks ago, on one of our adventures, my girlfriend and I got lost. I mean really lost. So lost, at one point, we seriously wondered if we’d ever make it back to our car and home to Seattle.
I’m sure you’ve been there – forgetting where you park at the mall during the holiday season, what level of the parking structure you happen to be on, losing the trail on a hike, or even having your GPS take you to the middle of nowhere – to a place GPS doesn’t even work.
Finding your way through life can be a bit of a maze and you don’t know you’re lost – until you’re lost.
We all get lost.
Getting lost is disorienting.
Back to my story a few weeks ago. For the first time in my life I did a corn maze (#bucketlistachieved). That corn maze was designed to get us lost and it did not disappoint. We got lost. In ways I couldn’t have foreseen.
In the middle of getting lost, all sense of time evaporated. An hour could have been a minute. A minute could have been a second.
At least it’s a good thing we were in a corn maze, because we would have had food to eat if we wound up out there for days.
Lost in a corn maze.
Walking through the corn stalks, the sun was peaking through the gaps. It was bright, yet, we were stuck in the shadows.
We were already lost. Everything was already looking the same. This shadowy maze of corn and people began to disorient us. Our thinking, our heads, got a bit hazy, and we got dizzy.
In the midst of our disorientation, I could tell my internal “I’m man and I’m a leader, I need to be able to figure out where we are going or my girlfriend is going to wind up disappointed in me and not find me attractive anymore because I can’t figure out how to lead us out of the corn maze” alarm was going off. See, in my wiring, I put so much pressure on myself to be right, to be perfect, to know where I’m going, to see where God is leading, and if I can’t get my directional compass in check, I beat myself up.
I get defensive.
I blame shift.
I get frustrated.
This is not the pretty side of myself; it’s pretty ugly actually.
As we were lost in the corn maze, my frustration was growing. My self worth and self image was rapidly decreasing. Honestly, I was afraid of letting it bubble up and ruining all the fun we were having at Bob’s Pumpkin Farm and Corn Maze.
Truthfully, we were lost because I couldn’t read the map. I thought I knew what direction we were heading, but then, every turn seemed to get us more and more confused. Go right, dead end. Go left, didn’t we past that pile of trash before?
Going in circles – that’s life isn’t it? Sometimes, when we’re disoriented, we seem to be going in circles – making wrong move after wrong move and winding up back where we started – if we’re lucky.
The disorientation makes us mad, makes us feel hopeless.
Until, we see hope.
Until, we sense the season is changing.
For us, in the corn maze, this happened, when we found a bridge in front of us. In this moment, we still didn’t know where we were. In fact, it was here, at the discovery of the bridge, where we learned just how off we were.
Yet, this bridge was the beginning of our reorientation.
The bridge above our heads, let us figure out where we were on the map.
At the bridge, we learned where we needed to go.
Our bridge was hope.
Our bridge was the beginning to the other side.
Our bridge chartered a new course for what was to come.
Once we hit the bridge, we knew how to read the map.
When we could read the map, we learned how to follow the map.
When we learned how to follow the map, we were faithfully, joyfully, right on our way again. The stress evaporated.
For the last several months, it would be an understatement to say I felt disoriented and lost.
My map no longer made sense.
It was frustrating. When I moved to Seattle over a year ago, and started my #PacificNorthWelch journey – I didn’t know how it would play out. But, while I was here, encountering Jesus in the most beautiful ways, I began to dream and look ahead on the unwritten map. I began to write my own map and create my own trails.
Then, one day, I found out that map didn’t exist anymore.
It was a time of disorientation.
But, in October, the map began to get clearer – I had found my bridge.
Now in November, I’ve seen where this bridge led me to.
It’s better than I could have imagined.
I will give you all the credit, God –
you got me out of that mess,
you didn’t let my foes gloat.
God, my God, I yelled for help
and you put me together.
God, you pulled me out of the grave,
gave me another chance at life
when I was down-and-out…
You did it: you changed wild lament
into whirling dance;
You ripped off my black mourning band
and decked me with wildflowers.
I’m about to burst with song;
I can’t keep quiet about you.
God, my God,
I can’t thank you enough.
Psalms 30:1-3, 11-2 (The Message)
The bridge just lets me know where I am on the map. I know where the trail starts, but I don’t know where it goes.
I can’t wait to see where it goes.
God has, and is going to work and move in amazing ways. God, please keep going before me. May it be so.
This #PacificNorthWelch adventure has only just begun.