Getting Lost

From Barbara Brown Taylor’s An Altar In The World, this on the spiritual practice of getting lost:

“In my life, I have lost my way many times more than I can count.  I have set out to be married and ended up divorced.  I have set out to be healthy and ended up sick.  I have set out to live in New England and ended up in Georgia….  While none of these displacements were pleasant at first, I would not give a single one of them back.  I have found things while I was lost that I might not have ever discovered if I had stayed on the path.  I have lived though parts of life that no one in her right mind would ever willingly have chosen, finding enough overlooked treasure in them to outweigh my projected wages in the life I had planned.”

This rings true to me – getting lost is not an exception to life, not an appendage of life — it is part of life.  For all my best intentions, my retentiveness, my desire to plan things out so the path ahead is well-lit and clearly marked, I still find myself lost/clueless/out of ideas from time to time.  But that recognition is more an admission of reality, not an admission of defeat.  Which leads to Taylor’s punchline:

“I have decided to stop fighting the prospect of getting lost and engage it as a spiritual practice instead.  The Bible is a great help to me in this practice, since it reminds me that God does some of God’s best work with people who are truly, seriously lost.”

So there.  When next lost, I need not be frustrated or embarrassed.  I can simply acknowledge that I am engaging in the spiritual practice of getting lost, and (hopefully) move aside long enough to allow God to do some of his best work.

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