Seek and ye shall find. ~ Matthew 7:7
Driving is a chore for me thanks to physical limitations. Getting out of the car and walking around every hour or so is mandatory. I make it fun by visiting antique malls in small towns. Thirty minutes browsing around and I am back on the road. Sometimes with treasures in tow.
Other times, I’m haunted by items I’ve left behind. Usually I suffer and move on but not this past week. Three ceramic flowers with little girl faces kept popping up in my thoughts. The grandgirls, flower girls in their aunt’s wedding, and I are into flowers of all kinds this year. They take “flower girl” literally. Those little vases? Perfect flower girl gifts. But there was a problem. I found these treasures on an exit off the beaten path. I didn’t take a business card. I’d taken pictures but the location wasn’t noted by my phone. What to do? Those vases were lost and I was at a loss.
I could see the store in my head. I just couldn’t locate it. Looked at Google Maps and traced my route. No luck. I remembered a hardwoods store next to the antique place. A Google Earth car going through our neighborhood filming street views jogged my brain. Off to Google Earth I went! After going through a gazillion street view exits, I thought I’d found the hardwood store. But the place next door was a car import dealer instead of antique store. So I went on with my search for a whole week and found nothing as I scoured local maps, phone books, and emailed antique dealers. I was lost but wasn’t willing to admit it or give up.
Truthfully, I thought maybe I’d dreamed the whole thing up until I hit the reverse look up websites. Sure enough, the Google Earth picture was out of date. An antique store now sat at the address in spite of what that picture told me. All that time I’d been going the right direction until an out of date picture sent me the wrong way.
When sad tales like this happen it’s like God’s sent me a billboard. I started to think of all the times I haven’t considered myself lost but in reality was going the wrong way. Who am I kidding? It happens on a regular basis. I rely on an old map with a hole in the fold. The GPS gives me directions that don’t help at all. But I listen because, well, the state Department of Transportation, satellite or the voice of Navigation Girl (I’m an android person not a Siri lover) know more than I do, right? Plus I’m left handed and tend to reverse directions automatically without realizing it. I get lost a lot.
When we have challenges in our lives, we do the same thing. First, denial. Denial. Denial. Nope, we aren’t moving away from God’s will. The direction we go in feels right. Sometimes, we may know we need better direction but still find ourselves leaning on the wrong resources. We read instructional articles. We listen to well-meaning friends who tell us what path to take, only to find a fork in that path further down the road. Or worse, a dead end. We refuse to admit how turned around we are until something happens to wake us up. It might be hitting rock bottom. But hopefully, it’s just realizing we’ve been looking for love or affirmation or even God in all the wrong places.
When I realize I’ve lost focus on the life God wants me to live or ignored the direction He wants me to go, I eventually stop and admit it. Mainly because I’m full of frustration, anger, bewilderment and don’t like it at all.
So I say, I’m lost, God. As simple as that. Then I ask friends to pray for me. I read scripture more thoroughly. I meditate until things come into clearer focus and I can see where God wants me to go, what he wants me to do and be. Suddenly those treasures I was looking for appear, maybe not cute little flower girl figurines, but peace, comfort, strength and perseverance. I’m headed in the right direction again, thanks to God’s help.