More than a few years ago now, our younger son was a new driver and out on a date with his then girlfriend, now wife. We were at home in bed, though of course not asleep. It was nearing the time that he should have been home, and the phone rang. My husband answered it, only to hear our son's near frantic voice: "Where am I?" As it turned out, he was on his way home and a fire truck was blocking his normal route and traffic was redirected, causing him to become disoriented in an unfamiliar neighborhood in downtown Akron. His father talked him back onto the right roads that would get him safely home. We've had tons of laughs over the years at this memory and it's sure to be a funny story passed down through the generations.
There have been several times in my own life when I've stopped to ask myself the question, "Where am I?"~not because of being lost while out driving late at night, but because circumstances beyond my control sometimes make me feel lost and disoriented. Roadblocks I never planned on appear out of nowhere, and I'm forced to move in a different direction or to think in a new, better way.
Most of us like to feel settled in to what becomes comfortable and familiar in our lives. We like predictability, whether it is knowing a paycheck will be deposited into our account every couple of weeks, seeing our spouse go off to work and come home around the same time every day, or just doing the things we enjoy that become happy traditions for us.
Getting older and feeling it is an unexpected change that can be difficult to wrap our arms around. The energy we had just a few years ago is gone and we find we don't have the stamina or strength to do many of the things we used to do at the pace we used to do them. On days like that, I find myself wondering "Where am I?" along the continuum of life ~ will I live to be an old lady telling stories to my great grandchildren from a rocking chair, or am I already almost at the end of my journey here?
Then there are the times I try to take a personal spiritual assessment test. "Where am I?" in terms of my eternal relationship with God and my relationships with people? Am I resting in the knowledge that God is "for" me and that whatever might be a surprise to me in life was no surprise to Him and He is weaving this tapestry into something very beautiful? Am I always looking to make and keep peace with friends and family, so that I can look forward with confidence and back without regrets?
When my brother got his cancer diagnosis ten months ago, one of the first things he wanted people to understand was that eventually all of us will be thrown an unexpected curve ball in life, and when that day comes, we will need an internal compass to help and guide us through difficult times.
Friend, don't wait till the turmoil comes. Jesus said, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father but by Me." God has provided that Compass for us and we don't have to live our lives in fear, despair, or anxiety, no matter where we find ourselves or what our circumstances may be. Even when our world is turned upside down, our heavenly Father will show us the way to go and lead us safely home.