Today, I fell asleep while driving. It was only for a second–a brief moment where my eyes grew heavy and my body was reminded of its lack of sleep and stressful day at work. In those few seconds though, something very unfortunate happened. I missed my exit. Pretty uneventful story, eh? Except it wasn’t. Because I had no idea where I was. So, after sitting in an hour of standstill traffic, riding my car on ‘E’ to work, and traveling almost forty minutes back to Mt Juliet that afternoon, I was then lost on the back roads of my Tennessee town. I’ll be honest. I was aggravated. And exhausted. And could have very easily pulled the car over and taken a nap right then and there.
How can you get lost in your own city? you might ask. Confession: I’m a horrific driver. No, really. It’s not a huge secret. I didn’t even drive on the interstate for more than five minutes until I was driving away to college. In my defense, because that’s pretty embarrassing, there was really no need to. My life revolved around my little town and the people in it. Alongside little driving mishaps here and there, I also have no sense of direction.
When I was young, Momma called them adventures. We were never “lost.” I can remember one hot summer day that she decided to find an alternate route home during a city parade. All cooped up in that dark caramel colored Camry, she hauled us up and down hilly back roads until we finally reached our destination. “We aren’t lost,” she’d tell us. “We’re just going on an adventure. We’re going to see what we can find.” That’s the way I learned to look at things. It doesn’t matter if you’re late or if you don’t know where you are. You’re somewhere, and you’ll eventually figure out where that somewhere is. Choosing your outlook though, is the key.
I was reminded of this as I rolled the windows down and enjoyed my forty minute scenic tour of backwoods Mt. Juliet. Farm houses… picket fences… huge oaks that have stood still a hundred years…these were the things that greeted me as I drove with a foot propped up and the radio blaring. Spring is upon us. I know it’s only a tease, she does that to us middle Tennesseans; however, for today, I enjoyed her company. And finally, after a long but enjoyable little adventure, I found my way to my mother’s kitchen, leftovers, and chattering voice.
We began to talk of India and post travel plans and jobs and money. And she said, “you’re going somewhere. You just don’t know where that is yet. But you’ll know you’re there once you reach it.” And I knew that she was right, though wandering often feels like losing…or failing…or not succeeding.
I don’t believe there is such a thing as getting lost. We are always somewhere. So embrace the situation a little–see life as an adventure. Miss exits. Take back roads. Turn off your GPS and go down streets with no street signs. Sometimes it’s okay to be rash. Spontaneous. Risky. Especially if God is moving in all of it.
Who knows where you’ll end up or where you’ll find yourself.