Ever feel turned around and upside-down and just plain lost?
We were on our way to the beach. My husband was driving and I was 'navigating'. I am not a great navigator and that is the truth. I'm not exactly sure what is so difficult about it, but I am well aware of my shortcomings in this area.
My husband was wondering if it was a right turn or a left turn coming up and he glanced over at me and noticed that I was turning the map upside-down.
"Why are you doing that?" he asked.
"To figure out if we turn right or left", I answered. Wasn't it obvious?
"Don't you just know?" he queried.
Well, no, I don't 'just know'. I know that lots of people can flip things around in their mind and it all works just so slick and easy, but for me, I have to be traveling the same direction that my finger is moving on the map in order to figure out the lefts and the rights. It just isn't very easy for me. However, with all the turning and twisting I tend to get even more hopelessly turned around and pretty soon we are taking wrong turns and the frustration level in the vehicle is rising dangerously.
And that's where I was today. I was all upside-down and trying to turn the map around in my mind because today I knew I wasn't going the right way. I was traveling down a road I've been before and it always ends up in no good.
I was looking around wondering why ... why isn't my life like some other people I know? Why isn't my bank account quite as impressive, why are my accomplishments so invisible, why is my house so unfinished? As these thoughts kept coming and tumbling around in my mind, I knew then and there that I wasn't going the right way.
But what do you do? What do you do when you are lost and you're holding the map but you're all turned around?
My husband told me to keep the map right side up. Keep north at the top. Hold it steady.
Thinking about this has helped me to gain my bearings again.
North at the top. Keep the map steady.
God has given clear instructions for life. He is the 'true north'. No where in His word does He indicate that a large bank account is 'impressive' in eternity. Neither do I need a list of accomplishments or a grand and beautiful home. Neither does He indicate that those who have these things are more loved than the rest. The things that I'm all jumbled up about are not really factors in the eternal scheme of things.
He does say "in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." I Thess. 5:18
As I give thanks, I begin to find my way out of the tangled mess I was in. Instead of looking at my perceived lack, I begin to see so much to be thankful for. The bank account still doesn't have much muscle, but there is a bank account with adequate funds. My accomplishments are invisible, but I do have gifts and I want to use them for the glory of God. They are not public, noticeable gifts, they are quiet, best in small group settings, but they are the gifts that God gave me. May I be thankful.
The unfinished house is too a gift to be thankful for. I have a house. It has great potential. It will teach me patience. I will require creativity. It is a blank canvas to work with. I guess there are lots of things to be thankful for.
And now I see the sunshine streaming in the windows, the laundry blowing in the breeze, the autumn colours , the zinnias on the windowsill, the chrysanthemums a gift from an elderly man who tends a lovely garden, the sweater from the closet of a friend found as I helped her with her house-cleaning, the stained glass sun catcher, a gift from my sister.
Gifts, everywhere my eye lands in my house there are gifts from friends, from family, from acquaintances and all, every one of them a gift from God.
I am blessed. I will give thanks. I am back on course.
When you lose your way, when you are traveling down the 'poor me' path of life. Stop. Hold the map steady. The way out of that place is truly in giving thanks.