I was so stinking lost.
The event was about 5 hours from my home, and I allowed plenty of time. I had never been to this part of the state before, so I put in the address before I left and followed every step. I was enjoying the drive, singing like no one was listening.
About hour 4.5 I started to wonder. Cities and towns were long behind me. I was climbing higher. The roads were winding and narrow. It appeared that a dead end was ahead.
Just then, Siri announced: You have arrived at your destination.
Except I was nowhere near my destination. I looked at the tiny sign almost buried in the grass, and gasped.
I was in the wrong town.
I had typed in the name of the city, not knowing there was a teeny tiny town with a similar name.
Just one letter different.
I had arrived at the top of a small mountain, with no people — at least none that I could see.
I typed in the correct city. I was two hours in the wrong direction! I was going to be late for an event where I was the only scheduled speaker for the evening. I turned around and drove down those narrow roads fast. I prayed, even as I broke the law. I tried to call the women’s ministries pastor, but there was no answer.
I had allowed extra time, but was it enough?
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When I finally pulled into the church driveway, the parking lot was full. The sound of worship reached my ears. My heart raced as I slipped out of my car and ran to a side door of the church. I saw a worried woman pacing in the foyer. I waved, and offered a weak smile as I hurried toward the bathroom.
I went to the bathroom, then glanced in the mirror as I washed my hands quickly. I was wearing worn jeans and a hoodie. It seemed like a good idea to travel comfortably when I had so much extra time, but now? I was a mess. My hair stuck up on one side from all the times I ran my hands through it, driving like the Tasmanian devil down the highway. I changed in three minutes, smoothed my hair in place, and stepped outside.
The worried woman greeted me.
“I’m so sorry,” I said. “I got really lost.”
“Are you ready?” she asked. I could see the relief on her face.
Lord, I’m in no shape to stand before these people. I’m anxious. My arm pits are sweaty. I got so lost. Yet here I am, and I know you are here too. Will you meet me? Anoint my heart.
The woman took me by the arm and we walked in together, just as my name was announced as that night’s speaker.
No one likes being lost
When we are lost, especially when we thought we knew where we were going, it makes our heart beat hard in our chest. Anxiousness crushes. All we want is to be on the right road. We want directions — good ones — and if we take a wrong path, we want someone to help us find the way back.
Being lost on a mountain dirt road is one thing, but spiritually we may find ourselves lost. Even as we show up for church or say or do church-like things.
How does that happen?
At first we might not feel a thing. We are singing at the top of our lungs, going our own way. And then we realize we aren’t where we want to be.
We aren’t necessarily lost because we are following bad things, but because we aren’t following Jesus over everything else.
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I believe that Christ is calling us back to Himself. Away from things that look like faith, but don’t necessarily look like Jesus. Away from a hyper focus on ourselves, to see the world the way He does. He’s taking us away from rules that make us feel safe, to a risk-taking relationship with Him.
He will help us find our way back
That night I shared the message God had put on my heart. I got lost, but Jesus used my life anyway. He didn’t hold one veer off the path against me and declare, “I can’t use her. She’s a mess.”
Instead, He met me where I was.
Do you feel a little lost? Hear His cry.
I have so much more for you than that thing you are following, or those things you think are so important right now. I see that cynicism and frustration. Let me take you by the arm. Walk with me. I have a plan for you — I always have, and the fact that you started down the wrong path doesn’t negate that plan. Turn around. Listen for my voice. Walk toward it. Let’s do this together.
Let’s see where He leads you.
And if you see someone else who looks a little lost, slow down. Take them by the arm. Ask them to walk with you, as you walk with Jesus.
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Walk with Jesus five days a week. Soak it in. Live it. Be changed forever.