Have you ever been driving down the road, heading on to your next destination, radio playing, sun shining and all is well when all of a sudden your GPS stops working? Panic sets in and you start trying to reset it. Then you start shaking it like maybe something inside will shift and it will pick up the satellites again. Admit it, you’ve done it; I know I have more than once.
I read a sad story a few months ago about thousands of birds who met their death when they mistakenly crash landed in a snow covered / frozen Walmart parking lot. The migrating birds thought they had reached a lake but I guess because of the snow and ice covering the parking lot they got confused. (Story here)
Over the past year I have posted many times about feeling lost and like I was just wondering through the desert. I have tried some new things, made some new friends, managed to make enough money to get by and a made few great memories too. I have also made some mistakes, big ones and small ones, a few enemies (ok not enemies but people who don’t like me for whatever reasons), gained more weight than I care to admit and wasted a huge amount of time really stressed out and depressed.
It is hard to understand things when we are wandering through a desert, whether it’s a financial, physical, emotional or spiritual desert. You see mirages, you know those things that look like refreshing pools of water or fresh fruit, and sometimes out of depression, desperation or confusion you run straight to them. Those mirages can turn out to be totally fake, disappointing and not good for you at all. In the case of the birds they saw what they thought was a frozen lake and dove right in. It turned out to be a parking lot and their fate definitely wasn’t all that great.
I have been really disappointed by several mirages in the past year. There were people, situations and opportunities that really did not turn out to be near as good as they first appeared. I was left filling more empty and depressed than before.
I kept praying for clarity, wisdom and for God to either move or move me. I kept thinking if I could just do this or do that or change this or change that or get in with this circle of people or learn more, do more, make more that I could get that missing sense of purpose and direction back. All of that was also just a mirage. There is nothing we can do enough of because “we must decrease so He can increase.”
It is good to feel lost… because it proves you have a navigational sense of where “Home” is. You know that a place that feels like being found exists. And maybe your current location isn’t that place but, Hallelujah, that unsettled, uneasy feeling of lost-ness just brought you closer to it. ~Erika Harris
What I am learning is that I wasn’t really lost. I just got side-tracked and needed to reset my GPS so it would work again. I needed to make sure I was plugged into the real Navigator and following His directions. Now I have the clarity I was praying for and am seeing through the mirages. I am getting back on the right path to be able to reach the person and place I am supposed to be heading towards. That scary, desperate feeling of being lost is being replaced with hope and joy.
Getting side-tracked and off-course isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as there are always lessons to learn along the way. Just be sure you get back on the right course before you dive into a mirage that turns out to be a parking lot!