“Getting lost along your path is part of finding the path you are meant to be on” – Robin S. Sharma
Spontaneous decisions are the dumbest and happiest choices I have ever made. The decision to get my nose pierced was one of those decisions. One day I woke up and the decision was made. I wanted to get my nose pierced. There was no chance I would change my mind. Next thing I knew I was in my mini-van driving to the beach to get the pericing . Flashback a couple weeks prior to me getting my nose pierced. I dropped my phone in a lake and sadly it was unable to recover. Not even rice could recuse my poor phone. I was still in the process of setting up a new phone, so here I am phoneless on an adventure to stick a piece of metal through my nose. I listened carefully as my Dad described the directions I needed to get the beach, since I no longer had the GPS on my phone to guide my way. It shouldn’t be too bad. I have driven to the beach a hundred times, I thought to myself. I left the house never realizing the danger and fear I would experience later that night. I arrived at the beach and meet up with my friend Rainy. First we when to an Exotic Body Piercing shop, but apparently my nose wasn’t exotic enough so we drove to another location. I was so nervous and I hesitated about getting it done; however, once the tiny diamond stud was in my nose I was the happiest person on earth. It was a good decision. Afterwards my friend and I got Chipotle and watched Project Runway until the evening hours had crept up on me. It was already dark and I knew I should be heading home soon. She was staying at the beach for the next few days, so we said our goodbyes and I was on my way. Never did I suspect I would get as lost as I did. As I headed down the road I felt that something was wrong. I didn’t recognize where I was or where I was going. Fear. Trepidation. I will just sleep in my car for tonight, and find my way in the morning, I thought. But I pressed on. Trekking my way through the night. Terror. It wasn’t until I stopped at a gas station and asked for directions that I was able to get back on the path. My 45 minute drive turned into a 2 ½ hour trip. Even though this was not a pleasant experience I realized something about what it means to be lost and to get back on the path of arriving home. This is just like our salvation experience. Often times we find ourselves backsliding and lost as a goose in a hailstorm. During this time we experience being fearful and unsettled. It is only when we get back on the path to our heavenly home that we can experience peace and joy once more. Here is what I discovered.
“The path of the just is as the shining light, the shineth more and more unto the perfect day”. Proverbs 4:18
Know your directions
Before even getting into my soccer mom van that night I should have had directions to where I wanted to go. If we don’t plan ahead in life we will never reach the destination we want to arrive at. Our directions should be constructed by design not by default. You should have a plan to fight the sin, temptation, and struggle in your life. If you don’t you are going to go down a path that will get you lost. If you don’t plan to spend time with God, you never will. Without planning you will never have time for God. It is neccesary to make time for him. It is natural that we want to follow out own directions rather than the directions God has laid out for us; however, tt is our job to listen and follow the direction he has given us. Without God we are headed down a road of destruction we don’t want to be on. Not matter how much good we might be with directions we will get lost if we are not following the right directions. Living our lives aimlessly will unaboutably leave us feeling without purpose. We were not designed to live life the way we want to. If everyone did what they wanted we would see a world of unfulfilled and unsatisfied people because as soon as we get what we want our souls crave more.
“Great peace have they who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble”. Psalm 119:165
“My help comes from the Lord” Psalms 121:2
Read the Signs
Even the least experienced driver knows that along any road there are an abundance of signs everywhere. There are speed limit signs to show when to slow down if there are curves in the road. There are even signs that let us know if there are many deep that hang around the roads. Needless to say, there are road signs everywhere. I was distracted with my own thoughts and by the pounding sound of the radio. The windows in my car were rolled down, the wind whipping my hair. I did not have a car in the world. Why would I be concerned about where I was going.? I was just enjoying the drive. But now that I think back to that night. There were so many signs along the way telling me I was going the wrong way. I choose to ignore them and I faced the consequences hours later.The purpose of signs are to warn us what lies ahead. There is an exist we need to take or a destination we need to arrive at. God’s voice is like a road signs showing us the way we need to take. If we ignore these signs our own routes will not lead us down the path God has laid down for us.
“In all your ways acknowledge HIM and HE will make your paths straight”. Proverbs 3:6
“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables”. 2 Timothy 4:3-4
Know When you are Lost
While I was driving I felt that something was off. I knew that I didn’t exactly know where I was going, but I wanted to push through it. I can handle myself, I thought. I didn’t want to stop. I was ready to be home, ready to be in the comfort of my own bed. Often times this is how we behave in reaction to diffucutiles or discomfort in life. We want our comfort and we will try to take a quick detour to get to it. If I had paid attention to where I was going from the beginning I would have saved myself a lot of wasted time. When we try to detour Jesus and take the quick route out of doing what we has called us to do, it will only take twice as long because eventually we will backtrack the distance we have tred away from him. As soon as you start going down the wrong path it is time to go back home. Most of the time it is never a big sin that gets us in trouble emmidiently, but small sins that grow bigger and bigger. The first few missed signs would have been easy to recover from. I could have turned around quickly and only wasted a few minutes. Continuous sin small sins will eventually escalate and only lead us to an unsatisfied life of destruction. Reconize when you are begining to down the wrong path, and quickly serve that mini-van around.
“You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand” Psalms 16:11
Ask For Help
I hate admitting I am wrong or that I messed up. I hate confessing my struggles and burdens. I hate asking for help. Yet, if I hadn’t asked for help I might have not made it home that night. I didn’t want to ask, I wanted to figure it out myself. I had to admit I made a mistake. Owning up to our mistakes is half the battle of salvation. Admitting that we sin, struggle, and experience strife makes us more open to change. I knew I couldn’t get back home on my own but asking for help wasn’t easy. I had to work up the courage to pull over at a sketchy gas station and ask a stranger for direction. There was a crowd of unfriendly looking men gathered outside the gas station. Being a young female I was terrified to get out of my car. I had to ask God for courage to get out of my car and ask for help. God wants us to cry out to him and confess what we have been trying to keep from him. For me it was denying my prideful heart of thinking I could find my way home by myself. In our walk with Christ it is necessary that we ask other believers to help us when we struggle. We must deny our naturally prideful hearts in order to make it towards the path of restoration.
“Call to me and I will answer you great and might things, which you do not know”. Jeremiah 33:3
“I call on you O God, for you will answer me; give ear to me and hear my prayer”. Psalm 17:6
Follow his directions
God wants to guide our life’s. He has a purpose, path, and a plan already set before us. If we stay connected in his word and with him through prayer he will show us the direction we should go, and he will equip us with everything we need along the way. As much as I want to build our own road to salvation sometimes, Jesus is the only was we can obtain it. He alone can lead us to where we need to go. Having a plan set it place each day as to how we can live our life for Christ is how we become successful at living our life for Christ. Even though we all will experience times in our lives where we feel lost and incomplete these are the times where we also experience growth in our faith. Often getting lost and realizing that we have to turn around allows us to find ourselves and find what path God intended us to be on in the first place. I made it home safely that night, and I did not have to sleep in my car after all. But I learned a lesson I will never forget.
“Let my steps stay on your tracks so that my feet will not stumble”. Psalms 17:5
“Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take”. Proverbs 3:6
“And we know that all things work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose”. Romans 8:28