Lost as a goose in a snowstorm...
It was not exactly our finest hour.
Friend Judy and I were returning from our pre-Christmas day at The Gardens Mall in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. We make it a point to go there sometime during the holiday season to enjoy the exquisite decorations and soak up the yuletide atmosphere. Since it's just over an hour away from home, it's a most enjoyable day trip.
Until our return trip when we were hung up on I-95 by an accident that blocked all northbound lanes of traffic. As we approached the dead stop, we lost our brains. Suddenly, we were discussing in quick sentence bursts whether to endure the no-telling-how-long delay or opt for another route. We were right at an exit. Judy was driving.
"Do we get off?"
"Yes!" I said with great authority. It was my next sentence that did us in. "All these roads going east will take us to US 1 and we will be home soon." I just want to say in my defense that she has to share the blame for our ensuing misery. She knows darn well that my credibility for knowing where I'm going is suspect. "Right over there..." is not a valid direction.
To cut to the chase, we wandered for almost an hour on roads we had never seen before and will likely never see again. None of those roads was US 1. After great frustration and cross words spoken as we both stared clueless at our I-Phones, we eventually did find I-95 again and realized to our chagrin we were a mile south of where we exited originally. We had to laugh...eventually. You can't make this stuff up. Well you could, but why would you?
In retrospect, I have some takeaways from the experience that I should already know by this stage of life but I hope I remember them for future use.
1 - There is a reason why we need maps.
2 - If you're going to use that phone, take the time to learn the GPS app.
3 - Roads don't go where you think they should.
4 - (And here is the biggie!) As soon as you leave the main road (I-95), stop the car, consult the app or the map, and determine where you are in relation to your destination. By the time we started looking at the app on the phone, we were so off in the weeds it was irrelevant. It's amazing we stumbled back to 95.
As I see so often, this is another life lesson. We have so many chances to get off our path. Sometimes we realize it quickly, sometimes we have to wander a bit before it sinks in that we are lost. Just plain lost. My pastor Rev. Jeremy Rebman spoke to this just yesterday. If I am following the Lord, He has a path and a purpose for me. The only one who can take me off the path away from my purpose is me. As soon as I realize I'm off the path, that's the time to stop and check the map...my Bible, my Christian mentor, my Christian friend. Get back on track as quickly as possible.
Even if I'm a mile behind where I made the wrong turn.
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord. "Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future."
- Jeremiah 29:11