Oblivion, noun: 1. the state of being unaware or unconscious of what is happening. 2. the state of being forgotten
I’ve driven lots of miles lately. Two weeks ago, I added 1,900 big city and uber-rural miles to my on-the-road-with-Allie journal. This current trip is going to arrive at close to 1,400 miles before sleeping in my own bed.
I am not very good at sitting still or being cooped up in a steel shoebox hurtling down highways and byways. But Magpie is graduating from college and moving to launch her next life and I have the chance to see folks I love and respect.
So very worth it. Except during moments of first world panic when Google Navigation goes belly up and the GPS signal is MIA and I’m lost in oblivion.
These are the moments when your prayer life meets the grazing cows along the road.
All the planning, praying, counsel, and thinking you’ve invested in your journey and you find yourself lost in uncharted country. You wonder, where am I and how the hell did I get here?
Thank goodness you packed a map. Except that you didn’t, because after last consulting the atlas, you groggily left it next to the drained coffeepot at home.
And since roadtrips are so much like life, you keep going…looking for clues to your road ahead.
And praying, because you know that you’ve been promised, “Your own ears will hear him. Right behind you a voice will say, “This is the way you should go,” whether to the right or to the left.”*
Sometimes – despite your best and most careful planning – this is all the land navigation you have.
And God has not forgotten you.
He has not promised high and delivered low; brought you into the wasteland just to see you suffer. Like a shepherd, he has either led you into unknowing for a purpose rooted entirely in love or rescued you – an act also rooted in love.
And lately, I’ve realized again how little we know or can predict future life or outcomes, this road ahead.
We pray and study and learn and live and explore and decide and rinse and repeat and yet…the future is unknown to us. We must learn to trust.
We can trust in ourselves and our own strength; our own understanding. Or we can trust in others; stronger, smarter, swifter others.
Or we can abandon our own understanding (without abandoning reason and wisdom) and lean on the understanding of a gracious God who we cannot see to lead us home. Or to lead us past 1 zillion cows, three humongous cities, a few leaping goats, and doubt to family and friends…graduation.
As pithy as it sounds, if you find yourself lost in oblivion, remember that you are not alone in this world. Quiet yourself, look to the left and the right past the ruminators and giant wind mills.
The way has been made.
You will find it.
It will bring you home.
*Isaiah 30:21, New Living Translation