I only thought I was lost…

I was lost for a while yesterday. Lost in the sense that I didn’t know where I was nor how to find my way back. I haven’t been lost or disoriented like that for a long time. It was very… uncomfortable. Disconcerting. Mild adjectives, I know, but I really didn’t feel a sense of panic. I did, however, imagine that my daughter was getting worried about me. I had been walking for well over an hour, and it was starting to rain again. In another hour it would be dark.

Yesterday was our last day at this beautiful summer house by the fjord. I went for a walk… By myself. I think it’s the first time I’d been out alone since arriving in Denmark over two weeks ago! (New babies keep you busy!!) I headed down the road toward the fjord where we have walked several times. It’s so beautiful, stark, vast, peaceful, quiet… I digress. I took a couple of pictures at the water’s edge and then went on with my walk, going a direction we had gone the first day we arrived. It’s a perfect walk to just clear your head, listen to the sea birds and the breeze in the sea grass, and talk to God.IMG_0896.JPG

I took a wrong turn, except that I didn’t know it was a wrong turn until I got to the end of the road – it was a very long dead-end. So, I backtracked and went the other way. I was praying all along for God to keep his promise from Isaiah 30:21.

And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.

I kept walking and made the turns that I remembered. But, again, I missed one and found myself in a completely different place. Nothing looked familiar! At one point I just stopped in the middle of the road and stood there, looking in all directions. By this time I was getting very wet. I still wasn’t panicky… I have a pretty good sense of direction and was using dead reckoning, always aware of the location of the Fjord. As I stood in the road just wondering and trying to get my bearings, I prayed again. I turned on my GPS, but the maps app on my phone wouldn’t work because I had no network. I laughed at myself, thinking, “Do you trust God to get you there or not??”

I prayed this scripture back to God and just set off in a forward direction. About 100 yards later I was at our corner and could see the house!! I had been standing in the road, wondering which way to go, and all the time the house was right around the corner!!! I wasn’t lost at all. I just hadn’t gone far enough.

I wonder… What would have happened If I had given up and just sat down until someone came to look for me? If I had tried to backtrack all the way? If I had spent a fortune on roaming charges for my American phone to try to call for help? And home was right there. For once, I prayed first. I didn’t panic or stress. We can do the same thing spiritually and emotionally. Panic. Sit down and wait for rescue. Backtrack. Spend a fortune on self-help. And our way home is right in front of us if we only listen to His voice. His word.

I enjoyed my journey regardless of the fact that I had no clue where I was. I think The Lord kept me from being afraid. I was, and still am, so very thankful and so very grateful to God for getting me home. He will ALWAYS get me home.

Against All Odds

First, I just want to say that I am not a Phil Collins fan. Nope. I usually change the station if he comes on the radio, and I sure don’t have any of his songs on my iPod. So why have I had Against All Odds in my head since the wee small hours?? Warning! This song is an ear worm. Don’t read these lyrics if you don’t want this song stuck in your head.

So take a look at me now
well there’s just an empty space
And there’s nothin’ left here to remind me
just the memory of your face
Now take a look at me now
‘cos there’s just an empty space
But to wait for you is all I can do
and that’s what I’ve got to face
Take a good look at me now.

And as I work through this post, trying to figure out why THIS particular song is the one in my head this morning, there is one line on repeat. And now it all makes sense.

“You’re the only one who really knew me at all.”

I think we all want to be really known in this world. To have at least one other person who “gets” us. Someone to whom we don’t have to explain ourselves. That one person who understands without us having to “explain it.” If we’re lucky, it’s our spouse. Or a best friend. Or maybe a sister or brother.

Jesus knows us. Written in red in John 10:27-28 are Jesus’ own words… “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.”

An amazing promise from The One and Only Son of God. And all I have to do is hear his voice, but I won’t hear if I don’t LISTEN. And if I’m going to truly listen for my Master’s voice, then I’m going to have to unplug. Turn off the noise in my head, my mind, my life. I need to find my quiet place and tune out everything else. Put myself within hearing distance to my Lord.

Jesus is the Only One who really knows me in this life. The Only One who has always known me, even before I was one day old. And, against all odds, He loves me anyway!! He loves me enough to promise that I will never perish… And I will never be snatched from His hand.

Featured image courtesy of snabur-cogito.blogspot.com

Listen!

Listening. It’s a lost art. Our minds and ears are assaulted from the minute we wake up until we go to sleep (and sometimes even while we are asleep) with sound. We wake to music on our alarms, or in our heads as I do, we watch the morning news, listen to the radio in the car on the way to work, deal with noise at work all day, more radio or iPod in the car on the way home, kids, dogs, spouses, phones ringing, television, and sometimes we even go to sleep to the sound of the TV or radio.

We hear noise every waking moment, but when do we listen? Where is the silence in our lives? I remind my piano students all the time that the rests are as valuable as the notes in their music. Literally and otherwise. The rests in music are like the punctuation in our speech, giving room for pauses and breaks; Emphasis. Expression!

This past Spring, I used the following acronym for the word LISTEN when engaged in conversation…

L… Let the other person finish, Look at them
I… Invest time, Invite conversation
S… Speak the truth, Sit forward
T… Think before speaking, Try to understand
E… Engage brain, Ears open?
N… Never assume you know what they’re going to say, Notice!

I love the thought that God gave us two ears and one mouth so we could listen twice as much as we talk. Listen to others, to ourselves, and to what the Holy Spirit has to say to us. Only when we are quiet, can we hear what someone else has to say. Only when we still our active, busy lives can we listen to our true selves. It is only in our silence that we can hear the true heart of God.

My favorite place to get still and listen is in my front porch swing. Where’s yours?