Using a GPS is a way of life for me because I have no sense of direction. Yep, that boat sailed right by me the day I was born. Being directionally challenged has meant that my adventurous spirit has been curtailed a bit because of my apprehension of getting misplaced. Seriously, thank goodness for maps and cell phones! One of the ways that has helped me to become familiar with different areas is by walking neighborhoods. Walking is my choice of exercise to stay healthy and in shape. By walking many miles a week in the neighborhoods around where I live has helped me to recognize streets and/or landmarks to better maneuver streets without getting lost. When visiting friends, I walk their neighborhoods and last week I flew to Minnesota and stayed with my sister-in-law Vicki who lives near a wildlife area with walking trails. The trails diverge in many different directions, weaving through trees, underpasses, around ponds and even through parking lots. I have walked these tree and shrub lined paths before however it is still fairly easy for me to lose my way. Because I tend to get bored with the same trail, I have been known to explore, which of course is the reason I get misplaced. There is a handy dandy app called “Runkeeper” that I use to track my miles but also it shows my location and points me in the direction of where I started.
Our life of faith can have the same challenges. As faithful believers, we are focused on growing our faith in God and caring for others and yet the path deviates with twists and turns that can lead us away from God, our beliefs and even our purpose. It can be a lonely place and it is comforting to know that we are not the first to lose our way. The Psalmist writes the following about God’s faithful and loving nature: “God is fair and just; he corrects the misdirected, sends them in the right direction. He gives the rejects his hand, and leads them step-by-step. From now on every road you travel will take you to God. Follow the Covenant signs; Read the charted directions,” (Ps 25:8-10). What are Covenant signs or charted directions? Reading the Bible and prayer are some of the tools to finding our way back to God.
The message of the Bible transcends time and place and just like a GPS, it can be a road map that helps us find our way back to God. There have been times that I wandered spiritually and had difficulty with expressing my feelings to God. It was easier for me to let the psalmist speak the words that were not possible to find. One of the texts I leaned on through a tough divorce was Psalm 25. The author seemed to know exactly what I wanted to say and could not. Even though it took me a while to find my way through the pain, the biblical text has always shown me that God has never misplaced me. By meditating on God’s Word and praying for guidance, as the Psalmist described, God grabbed my hand and showed me the way back. When I find my way back to the beginning of my walk or when I have reclaimed the confidence in my faith, I feel a sense of relief and blessing that the lost (me) has been found.