Monday, January 19, 2015

The Power of ONE: Lost

This blog is a response to the current sermon series at Newbreak Church. To watch the message, you can log on to Newbreak's website and watch ONE: One Direction

Duane and I have had a lot of experience with being lost lately, with walking in circles, confused by GPS directions that tell us to turn down streets we can't see, that aren't labeled, that look like driveways.  Everything looks the same. But it's not. Getting lost is exhausting.  

Instead of being paralyzed by our lost-ness, Duane and I embraced the adventure of exploring new places. And we developed a system.  He kept track of shifting gears and watching for oncoming traffic, and I kept track of street signs and direction. Together, we stayed on track.

Most of the time. And when we got lost, we got "unlost" together.  (Unlost is not a word, but it works well here.)

We definitely needed maps and GPS directions. Somebody (or something) needed to know where we were actually going. But we also needed each other.  

Getting geographically lost is one thing, but every now and then, I feel emotionally and spiritually lost. Disoriented. Confused. Disconnected. 

I don't know where I'm going or what I'm going to do next.  I don't know where I'm going. Or what I'm doing next. 

I'm in limbo. Waiting for direction. 
I don't know where to turn. 
I don't know what to do next. Sometimes that's because there are too many options. And sometimes because I don't see any options. At least not the options I want. 

God seems far away.  Or at least not near. I don't hear Him. I don't sense His guidance.  
And so, in my confusion, I cling to anything that is familiar. 
And something the only thing that is familiar is the feeling of being lost. 

Feeling lost is such a lonely, isolating feeling. 

I've been journaling for nearly twenty years now, and my journals are sprinkled with this quotation from Psalm 119: 

I've strayed like a lost sheep; 
seek your servant, for I have not forgotten your commands. 

Only God can take away the feeling of being lost. We need someone who knows how to get where we're actually going. Someone who knows where we're actually going even when don't.  

When I recognize that I'm lost--and sometimes I don't realize it for a while--I call out to God. And when I call out to God, I can trust that God loves me enough to reach out and find me. I cannot get "unlost" on my own. 

At the same time, I also need people around me to let me know that it's okay to feel lost, to be confused or disoriented, who remind me that even if I don't know exactly where I'm headed, God does. And He will find me.  

Hopefully we have those people around us. But what happens if we don't have those people? For a long time, I lived life on my own. I didn't know how to build relationships.  

But there are a lot of reasons why we might not have people around us, even if we've established those relationships in the past. Things change. They always do. 

In that case, we need to start all over.

I was thinking about all these things as I listened to the message on Saturday evening, and then Pastor Mike asked the church: Where are you lost? 

Maybe that question was for me. Right now I feel like I'm lost, and I'm trying to figure out how I got off track.

In some ways I I feel like I'm starting all over. After the Santee Campus closed, I seemed to drift relationally. Some Santee friends didn't follow us over to EC, and because the church was larger, I didn't see other Santee friends every weekend anymore. Added to that, I had a heavy work schedule and wasn't involved in church activities as much as I had been before.

After a year in EC, I'm back at the Tierrasanta Campus, a church I attended for fifteen years but haven't attended in six years, surrounded by people I know but haven't spent time with in years. And I'm surrounded by people I don't know. More than that, I'm at a new school. I'm living in a new house. My ministry roles are changing. I'm a little lost. 

I've been here before, and I think I know what to do. 
I'm calling out: Abba, I'm lost. I don't know where I'm going. Come find me. I need you. I need people to help me. I need to help other people.  

I'm embracing the adventure of exploring new places in life. 

And I'm joining a life group. I'm embracing my confusion so I can meet new people, so I can form new communities in my new church that is my old church, so that together we can help each other get "unlost." 

I'll repeat Pastor Mike's question: Where are you lost? 
Have you told your Heavenly Father? Who are your people? 
If you don't have people, what's your plan for finding them? 

1 comment:

joy g said...

You always know how to speak to my need. To give the encouragement I need to keep going.
I definitely feel lost, confused and all those other emotions that you are feeling but for different reasons. You are a special person, I know you will form new relationships soon. <3