Stayin’ Straight.


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I hate the feeling of being lost. Every time I take a wrong turn, try a new route on a run, miss an exit on the interstate… there’s this unsettling feeling that I’m not where I should be. That I’m not taking the route I am expected to. That I’m not living up to the standard that others make for me. It’s unsettling because it makes me feel inferior, as if I’m not holding my responsibility of self as strongly as I should be. But somewhere amidst my confusion, I realize something– that’s where I’m supposed to be.

You ever been in a long car ride, lost for hours, with Dad navigating with his shortcuts (which, usually end up taking longer than the original route), and Mom begging to pull over and ask somebody for directions? Personally, I hope that all of you have, simply for the pleasure of experiencing the hilarity in that dynamic.  If you have seen this firsthand, what happens? A couple options:

1) Turn around, head back to an agreed correct location and start over from there. 2) Watch the parentals duke it out about who is right/wrong until eventually Mom wins. or 3) Trudge along on the chosen route until you see a glimpse of hope that you’re headed in the right direction. 

Obviously, there are probably more options that can be chosen, but, in a nutshell, this sums up my experiences pretty well.  There are times that Option 1 has proven quite effective and has gotten me to my desired destination.  In fact, I would say that Option 1 is my comfort zone, something I’m familiar with, and something that I’m fairly confident in choosing.  Option 2 is, let’s face it, probably the most fun choice.  Simply because watching two navigators (especially parents) fight over who is right/wrong is entertainment in itself.  However, in the end, a route is chosen, and it’s normally a different route than the one being taken (Mom’s way).  But the last choice… it almost seems foolish.  If you feel lost, why would you want to keep yourself in that unfamiliar environment? Why would you relinquish the reigns of your car, or should I say Airstream, and go down a road that could potentially lead you further in the wrong direction? Maybe you’re crazy? Or maybe you’re smart enough to realize you’re compass is skewed.

My life lately has been a whirlwind of emotions… dramatic, I know. But it’s true. So much good has landed square in my lap in so many areas of my life, but much confusion has also surfaced from big decisions that I’ve made recently.  There are areas I feel rock solid in, times that I have no doubt that I am where I need to be. However, school is one area that is a blur for me at the moment.  Difficulty in my major, disheartening encounters with professionals in my field, and an overwhelming amount of work on my shoulders all have pushed me to question my place.  It’s unnerving… to question a decision that I’ve set up as a kick-start for the rest of my occupational life. It’s a feeling of being lost, of being on the wrong route, and of failing myself and the God who owns me. 

And then I realize something– I have no clue what direction even means. I have no right to declare a route “right” or “wrong” frankly because any wrong route can be made right and any right route can be made wrong.  I pride myself in making goals and plans for my life… which don’t get me wrong– i think goals and plans are awesome… but what happens when those plans begin to try and dictate the course of your life? What happens when such goals and anticipations produce personal expectations for the future that you have no right to have and/or make? I say all this to demonstrate a point: feeling lost reminds me of my place. Feeling confused and frustrated sheds light on the fact that I don’t guide my life. And though my actions hide it well, I don’t want to either.  The One who pushes me down my taken routes is the One who makes my routes good.  His sovereignty is absolute, impervious to confusion and the silly thought of being “lost.” He’s incapable of such… and that pumps me up.

Pride has a funny way of seeping its way into all of our lives, of fooling us into believing we have some control of what will come– and it makes us proud of that short-lived and false power.  In many ways, I am lost– because I have no map, I have no directions, I have no set way of doing what is set in front of me.  I am improvising at its finest, because it’s all that I can do at the moment in some areas of my life.  But the beauty in that shouldn’t be overlooked. I DON’T take the stereotypical routes because I serve a God who laughs at stereotypes. I serve a Savior who hurts for people that conform to such expectations because He wants to blow all of our minds with HIS plans, which btw, are 100% of the time alot more BALLIN than ours. And it’s high time we start letting Him.

“I don’t know where I’m goin’, but I do know who I’ll be.”  Amen to that, huh? That’s a Dave Barnes quote from one of his Christmas songs (yes, I listen to Christmas music in September. Go head, judge me).  And it’s the perfect reminder for me at this point in my journey.  No, I have no earthly idea where I am right now. I am surrounded by people, places, things that I’ve never seen before. I am being asked to do tasks that I have no clue how to do.  But regardless of where I am or where I’m going… I know who I am. My identity lies in Christ, and that is never going to change. Ever.  I am under His compass, under his banner of soverignty, and completely out of control of my own life and the course it takes. And I choose to take pride in that.

This is not the first time I’ve felt lost. And it definitely won’t be the last.  But I’m learning how to embrace my cluelessness as the foundation for God’s work to blossom. I am learning to see hard times as canvases for God’s beauty to be portrayed on. And sometimes, that’s the biggest lesson we can learn about pain. There’s purpose in it. And just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it isn’t there. So, to those who are hurting, lost, confused, etc… get excited. If you’re looking for God, He’s about to turn your world upside down.

So, here I am. On a backroad full of construction.  There are unfamiliar street signs and no red lights or stop signs. No turns to take. Just me and the airstream with two options at hand: keep going straight, or turn around.  And this time, I’m staying straight. There is nothing but trees and road for as far as I can see, but something tells me that’s the point.  So here goes nothin.

Letting go of the wheel,

Alex

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