Monday, February 4, 2013

If You Get Lost

My oldest son worries about getting lost.  He’s the middle child, so I guess it makes sense, bookended as he is by his sister and twin brothers. 

One morning as we dropped his sister off at school and headed toward the other side of town to pick up his friend for preschool, I rounded a corner with a little more oomph than usual and he noticed, asking, “Boy, Mom, are you having fun driving?” 
“Yeah,” I said, “driving is fun.”  Then I added, “Do you look forward to driving someday?  Do you think it’ll be fun?”
“No.  Well . . . I guess so, but I worry about what to do if I get lost,” he says, his little voice traveling the distance from the back of the van; that little voice that's filled with not-so-little worries. 
Sometimes if we’re driving somewhere new or happen to take a different route home he pipes up to ask whether I’m lost or not.  Usually I’m not, but I do have a more intuitive sense of direction and have been known to, on occasion, make my way toward a new destination via slowly decreasing circles comprised of wrong turns and false starts.
We’ve tried explaining maps to him, how they show where you are and how to get to where you want to go, but it’s all a bit too much for a four-and-a-half-year-old to take in.  Besides, I think what he’s expressing is more of a feeling, a fear or anxiety, rather than a desire for concrete information.  What he really wants to know is if he’s going to be ok and whether he’s in good hands and can relax.  
When he does relax, he sits leaning forward, staring out the window, letting his eyes glide along until they come to rest on whatever thing he happens to be obsessed with at the moment.  From the time he could talk, he fervently pointed out every piece of construction equipment within eyesight as we drove on long trips up 81 or out across the PA turnpike.  This past summer, he found and exclaimed over every “peltic” cross in Carlisle during our many trips through town.   
That morning as we slowed and I put on my blinker and pulled around yet another corner, I said “Well, if you get lost, you stop and ask someone where you are and they’ll help you figure out how to get home.” 
That was it, and, for once, the simple answer seemed to satisfy. 

We all have times when we feel lost, confused and uncertain of where we are or where we’re going.  Maps can be helpful, but sometimes you just need to pull over and ask for help.  Sometimes you need a living, breathing person, someone who’s right at home in the place where you feel most lost; someone who can reorient you, holding your hand and heart long enough that you can begin to hear again the voice that calls you toward Home. 
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Ever feel like you're lost and in need of direction, but you don't know where to turn?  I'd like to highlight my friend Tom Kaden's ministry, Someone To Tell It To.  Tom Kaden and his business partner, Michael Gingerich, started Someone To Tell It To as a non-profit counseling ministry which "specializes in offering support to those with life-threatening health concerns, especially those with cancer, to families liivng with disabilities, and for those searching to find meaning and purpose for their lives." 
The exciting part is that Tom and Michael are available to provide support locally or long-distance as they provide their services through which-ever means works best for you.  If your interested in finding out more, click on the link above.  Tom and Michael also host an excellent blog with quality writing and a depth of spiritual insight, which can also be accessed via the above link. 
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4 comments:

  1. Oh, I love this. I have recurrent nightmares where I can't remember the way home. I'll have to remind myself in my next dream to just ask someone!

    So thankful that the Lord has rescued me from permanent lostness and that I never have to worry about that again.

    Thanks for sharing this.

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    1. Lisa, oh that sounds awful! so grateful that God is with us "even unto the ends of the earth" and wherever we go God can find us (psalm 139).
      Thanks for taking the time to comment!

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  2. I really like the insight in your post. My wife and I have three children, and I can remember of a few occasions being surprised by the things that would worry them that we adults just take for granted. Thanks for the reminder!

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    1. Thanks Andrew, for our kids, four is a very "scary" year and adding the twins probably threw things off for my son too. It seems like four is the year they transition from the world of imagination to the world of reality, but they really still aren't sure about a lot of things. I love that ages three and four are such spiritually open age too. Thanks for commenting!

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