I have no sense of direction. I get lost at the drop of a hat. I’ve gotten lost in Los Angeles, Hawthorne, Malibu, Menlo Park, Mountain View, Kansas City, (both of them!) Boston, Maine, in New York State, Woodstock, Lenox and even in Pittsfield, MA where I work. And I’m sure I left out a like a million places. I can get lost going to the bathroom. Is it an illness? A condition? Is something blocking by brain? I have always been like this. I have always gotten lost very, very easily.
A couple of years back my sister and her husband gave me a GPS, which helped. That machine was made for people like me who obviously came out of the womb lost, not knowing where to go next. That’s me.
The problem with GPS systems is that you have to tell them where you want to go. Then you have to put in the right address. Then the GPS has to like the address you put in. A lot of the time it says “address not found.” That makes me so mad. Now come one. Please. The person who lives there gave me the address. The internet likes the address. What is your problem, Mr. map-in-a-box computer program? Frustrating.
Sometimes there is a roadblock or detour that Mr. GPS hasn’t seen or figured out. Then he starts giving you grief for going the wrong way. “Recalculating.” Okay fine, what can I do? I’m not driving through the river or over the side of the mountain. This was especially true in New England following Tropical Storm Irene when many of the two lane highways were severely damaged and barely functional.
Most recently I was lost in Acadia National Park in Maine. It is a beautiful, peaceful, Spirit-filled, mammoth place. It has one-way streets that intersect with two-way streets. It has signs that say “do not enter,” and “this way only.” I don’t like that. I typed in Acadia National Park into the nice little GPS box and the box led me to the main gate. That’s not where I wanted to go. I wanted to go to the visitors center. What’s the matter with you? Then I tried to follow the directions of the guard. Then I drove around lost for one hour. The man inside the box was laughing. Serves her right, stupid human.
You can imagine what came next. Rage. Yelling. Gone was the sweet Christian Quaker Juliet who was listening to her bible cd’s in the car. Enter raging, cursing, mean, Kathy Bates character in Fried Green Tomatoes when she rammed the dickens out of that VW Bug that took her parking spot. Marilyn Manson and the Matrix Reloaded soundtrack replace the bible cd’s and are blasting in my car. Pretty soon I start having hot flashes and I’m sweating like some sort of farm animal. That helps. Really.
Eventually I realized I had driven myself not only crazy, but right out of the park as well. So then I got to turn around and do it all over again. Great fun! Eventually I found my way to the ocean walk, got a parking spot and went for a walk.
Enter calm Juliet apologizing to God for her temper tantrum, saying her positive affirmations, reciting her gratitude list, asking for forgiveness for her terrible, obviously inherited temper.
So what is the purpose of getting lost? Acceptance? Surrender? Letting go of control? Patience? I would say all of the above.
The good news that Philipians 1:6 says that: “he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Thank heavens. I get another chance or two to get it right. I mean I don’t know if I’ll ever really know where I’m going when I’m behind the wheel of a car, but maybe I can handle it differently so that I don’t have a stroke in the process.
Maybe the only time I really know where I’m going is when I admit that I’m lost. When I surrender, give up control, let go, have faith, practice acceptance. The fact that I think I know where I’m going and what will happen next is just an illusion anyway, a fantasy. Only God knows that. My requests for the knowledge of his will unveil a few ice crystals that are really part of a huge glacier. Crystal by crystal it is revealed to me. I will trust. I will accept. I will surrender. I will breathe in and out. Relax. Breathe.