Sunday, November 6, 2011

You Are Here

On a map, when you’re lost, you get just one piece of information.

Did you get that? You are here.

Not, “You are trying to get there, and failing.”

Or, “Maybe you should have gone that way instead.”

Or, “Life will be so much better when you finally just get there.

Nope. You are here. Maybe this is a message for you, or maybe it’s just for me. But here it is: be where you are.

I went for a run two days ago in the mountains of Southern France. Okay, so it was more of a hilly nature park than actual mountains, but you know what I mean. I was feeling stressed, honestly, because I’m a stresser, and running is the best way for me to work all the kinks of anxiety out.

Why was I feeling stressed? Mostly because of this: I’ve discovered that I have a huge fear of being lost.

When I get lost in the States, it usually goes something like this: “Shoot, did I take a wrong turn on the way to Starbucks? Oh well, I’ll just go to another one that’s five minutes away from this one, because there’s at least one Starbucks every 5 miles, and I’ll use my iPhone maps application to help me get there error-free.”

Here, though, the idea of getting lost can literally terrorize me. Why? Because if I get lost in Southern France, it’s liable to be the I took the car, ended up at the top of a one-way street, unable to communicate, and never got found kind of lost. And the possibility of that happening can get me 100% fuh-reaked out if I think about it for too long.

So anyway, back to two days ago—I was pounding out all this stress on an rain soaked jogging path dusted with the first few handfuls of fall leaves, praying and thinking as I ran up, down and around the tree-lined trail.

Then I spilled out from the path onto an asphalt road, and I saw this.

In that moment, I was so overwhelmed by the bigness and the grandeur of God. And then, He did something wonderful—He wrapped this message on stress and control around me like a big, warm blanket. I hope it will bring you the same kind of comfort today that it brought me.

Sometimes I find myself so focused on figuring out how every element of my life and every decision I’ve ever made is going to add up that I completely miss the moment I’m in. I’m so busy looking plus or minus five years down the road that I stall out, and actually run the risk of becoming motionless.

“Men perish for lack of a vision.” That’s a quote (taken from a verse in the Bible, actually) that I grew up hearing my dad say. I think that this quote is so true—but I also think that having a vision doesn’t mean having it all figured out. It means trusting that God sees every piece—every piece!—of the journey I’m on, and that I am therefore called to lean on His promise to be my perfect guide.

When you’re lost, and you’re looking at a map, there are probably a thousand ways to get where you’re going. But you don’t need a thousand ways—you just need to take the one way laid out for you before the beginning of time by the one who made not only you, but the road you’re traveling.

So where are you today? Are you 5 years ahead, wondering if you’ll be married or have a job or be at the right weight or have it all figured out? Or are you 5 years behind, wondering how things would have been if you hadn’t ended that relationship, picked that school, made that move, left that job?

Touch the ground. That’s where you are. He goes behind, before, and with us!

FYI, here’s where I was that day, on a map:

“Your word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.” Psalm 119:105

“You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” Psalm 16:11

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