Listen: Chris Witts presents Morning Devotions.
My wife tells me I have an unhealthy fear of being lost. Maybe she’s right. I think I am ‘geographically challenged’. I can remember years ago when our kids were young driving somewhere with them on a holiday and we got lost. It was an awful moment, because I felt very vulnerable, wondering what should I do next, mainly to protect the family.
Have you ever had that experience? As a child I remember walking miles one night in the pitch-black with my mother and sister. The car had broken down. We were out in the countryside with no street lights. It was a terrifying experience. Somehow my mother guided us to our farm house.
Have you ever been lost? Perhaps you remember it as a child. You were there at the stadium at the football game, or perhaps at the showground, or maybe it was at a busy airport, and for a moment somebody let go of your hand. You looked around and—they are gone! Where did they go? Every parent’s nightmare is having a two-year old child walk out of sight in seconds.
There is a sense of feeling helpless when you’re lost. Especially in unfamiliar territory. That’s why the GPS is such a big seller. People who do studies on the process of getting lost tell us we go through several stages. First, we deceive ourselves into thinking I know where I am, when in fact we have no idea. I am not sure what the other stages are, but I’m sure there are real phases we go through.
Laurence Gonzales wrote a book called Deep Survival where he recounts amazing stories of survival. One is about a plane crash, when a 17-year-old girl spends 11 days walking through the Peruvian jungle. Against all odds, with no food, shelter, or equipment, she gets out. A better-equipped group of adult survivors of the same crash sits down and dies.
What makes the difference? It’s quite a fascinating read. But in his book he says: “Being lost is not a location. It’s a transformation. It is the failure of the mind. It can happen out in the woods or it can happen in life”. There are times in our lives when we are lost from friends, lost from love. There are times when we are lost to our families and lost in ourselves. Times in our lives when we are lost in worry or lost in grief, or lost in anger or hatred. Or lost in doubt.
Getting Lost In Life
Yes, there are times in our lives when we are so confident about where we are going and where we are headed—and then suddenly something comes at us and we didn’t see it coming. It may be a job termination; it may be sickness; it may be loss of a loved one; it may be a separation; it may be a divorce. Suddenly we feel dislocated. We feel aimless and wondering. We feel lost.
The question at those times is how can we find our way? How can we get ‘un-lost’? The world gives us lots of advice:
- Stay positive.
- Eat the right foods.
- Get plenty of rest.
- Get good exercise.
- Work hard.
But you and I know there are times in our lives when life turns sour, and we need something special to help us find our way.
And that’s the key thought today in this segment: being lost in life. Have you ever felt that way, and can’t explain why? I am sure there are some helpful hints from a Christian perspective. If you are experiencing these feelings of being lost, don’t be alarmed—everyone faces these issues at some point in their lives. It is painful to honestly assess your life, and it is tempting to think you can turn off the pain by changing your life.
What Is God Doing in My Life?
Some people quit their jobs, leave their spouse, or spend too much money. But changing your circumstances won’t help you deal with the issues you are facing—you will only be distracted for a short time. Instead, ask yourself, What is God doing in my life? Do you believe in God? I hope so, because it will make a big difference to the way you view life.
When someone is out hiking in the bush, if they are wise, they will have a compass. It gives a fixed-reference point, true north, to help if you get lost. In life, we also need a compass—a fixed-reference point which is dependable and something or someone we know will never change.
God is with us 24/7. He will never leave us alone.
Let me say also that God is working in your life, doing what he always does—using difficult circumstances to uncover what is really in your heart. He wants you to go through the pain of honest self-examination so you can reach new heights in your relationship with him and in your usefulness in his kingdom.
As you honestly examine your heart, God will show you the enormous opportunities you have in midlife for growth and change. Being lost need not be the scary event we often think of. God is with us 24/7. He will never leave us alone.