Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Lost but denying it

If you wanted to visit a friend who lives say, on A street but you were driving down B street; would you be wondering why you couldn't get to your friend's house?
I'm seeing this lately in the lives of people around me. They are confused why they are wherever they happen to be in the journey of their life. And yet, don't we each set off on the roads we travel? Life itself is a matter of turning corners or not. Of crossing streets and changing directions. Fast and furious times on highways where we sought and then chose exits. Winding paths when life is sweet and slow when pause to look around and rest quietly or explore a new trail into a forest we've never seen before. Do we ever choose unwisely? I do! I find myself looking around and thinking, "How in the world did I end up here?" In truth, I usually ended up exactly at the end of a road I chose for myself. And sometimes, it's a very ugly neighborhood! What to do in those times?
In growing up in Jesus, I have wailed about the unfairness of the potholes and dead ends. I've prayed long, hard, tearfully, loudly and occasionally, in Old English and even Hebrew Then there was the next set of travel plans. I'll simply become so incredibly spiritual and attuned to the Holy Spirit that I will never again choose a wrong path. That went something like this, you must preface every statement, thought, blog and possibly sermon with "The Lord showed me..." I'm all for the Lord guiding our steps, good grief I'd step right off the edge of the Grand Canyon if he didn't! But have you ever seen someone in the midst of the "God told me" phase? God told me to wear pink lip gloss. God told me to make lemonade. God, is it your will for me to grow my hair and wear a pony tail?
Can I be honest? I think maybe sometimes God, who is a God who counts the hair on our heads, doesn't really care all that much if we part it on the right or the left. I'm just sayin'...
So what road am I traveling now? I have embraced something powerful and beautiful and utterly freeing. Remorse. Repentance. Redemption.
That goes a little something like this. "God, I totally blew this!" Or, on less graceful days, "Oh crap!" "Oh crap" does not translate easily into Old English or Hebrew.
Often, the neighborhood we end up in that we really don't like is just the obvious destination for the road we chose. The wise person starts to see the signs that she's headed in the wrong direction and repents so that they can more quickly find the detour back to where they want to be.
I've lately heard older people say things like they have no regrets. Twisting and turning logic into pretzels to explain why where they are is just fine and dandy thank you very much! At any point in the last sixty years they could have simply acknowledged they were headed in a wrong direction. Humility that allows us to confess, repent and be turned around...what a gift.
If you don't like the neighborhood of your heart at the moment, why not take a moment to see if perhaps you took a wrong turn? Or even if you weren't the one driving at the time, ask God now to show you the exit and the courage to take the wheel. It's not just about this moment because if you stay on a road for long enough, you will still be experiencing the wrong neighborhoods over and over again in 10 or 20 years. And let me tell you, it's easier to backtrack one year than 5.
We will never live inside this flesh and have a perfect sense of direction. What we have instead is a soul compass. It always points toward redemption and we are never lost enough that it cannot find it's true north.


Becky said...


Margie said...

Amen Sister. I took a wrong turn, God used it for good... but its time to take a detour and get on the right path.

Odie Langley said...

Wonderful post Sara

Aunt Amelia's Attic said...

I'm olden, and when I say I have no regrets, I DO NOT mean that I've never made what-some-would-call-mistakes. Some would call them that, sure. But I WANTED the experience, and I got it. And to me, that's super.

But staying on the same "wrong road" is kind of like doing things over and over, and hoping they will turn out differently, I think.

If we *wake up*... And our gut feeling tells us that we are on a wrong-for-us path... We can change our path. But without any beating-our-self-up-over-past "mistakes." In my humble opinion, that is.

Just a different view point...

If you don't want these, please just tell me. I'll cease. :-)