Wow! It has been a long time since I’ve written anything here. I do have a couple of friends who periodically prod me to write something. I have had this thought in my head for a few weeks now, so for the two or three of you who actually read this, here it is.
Have you ever been lost? No, I’m not using “preacher speak” to talk about a spiritual condition. (Not yet anyhow). I’m talking about really being lost. Not sure where you were or how to get out of there. I can remember one time as a kid when I got lost.
I was about 8 or 9 years old. My family had just moved to Hawaii. My dad was being stationed at Hickam A.F.B. in Honolulu. We had recently arrived and had not yet moved into the housing on the base so we were in an apartment in Waikiki. One day while my dad was at work my mom took my sister and I to the beach. I can still remember clearly when it was time to leave. We were standing under a pavilion where there were restrooms. My mom and sister were going to change clothes, wash off or something. I clearly remember mom saying to me, “Stay right here. Do not go anywhere. We’ll be back in a minute.” Ok. Fine. Now remember I was only about 8. I guess it seemed like a really long time to me and my mom wasn’t back. My little mind at that point convinced me that my mom had left me there at the beach. She forgot me! At that moment I was lost. Suddenly I was afraid. Uncertain. How do I get out of here? What do I do? I was lost. I needed to get home. I would be safe there. Mom would be there. I had to get there. The problem was, I was an 8 year old kid in a new city and really didn’t know how to get there. Never the less, I took off.
I knew which direction to go as I left the beach. I headed that way. Scared because from there I really didn’t know where to go. Then I saw the landmark! I can clearly remember seeing it. In fact I can still see it in my mind just like I was 8 again. It was a huge sign that I recognized as being on the corner of the street I needed to walk down. It was big sign advertisement for Copper Tone suntan lotion. It was that ad with the dog pulling on the swimsuit of a little girl so that you could see her tan. I still remember it. It was like a big neon sign saying “TURN HERE”. There I went. I continued my journey with a little more hope because I knew I was on the right road.
From that point I can remember becoming little disoriented. I was beginning to become more and more uncertain of what to do next. I was looking at all the stores and everything on the street for a sign. I can’t remember what it was but I do remember seeing a local business that verified in my mind that I was still on the right path, another needed landmark. More hope. More confidence. I knew I was now getting close.
I remember approaching an intersection and looking around the corner. There it was! Our apartment building! It was there! I had made it! I was home! I was safe at last. I had peace. I knew now that everything would be ok.
Before I go on I will tell you the rest of the story so you won’t be distracted wondering what had happened. Obviously, my mother had not left me at the beach. She was not at the apartment when I arrived. I’m sure she was terrified when she came out of the bathroom and I wasn’t there. I did have enough sense to stay at the apartment building even though mom wasn’t there. I mean really that was home and someone would come there at some point so I just stood out front. I do remember seeing my mother running up the road. I can still see the look on her face. I can’t even describe it. It was sort of a mixture of I’m about to have a total breakdown and a I’ll do anything to find my kid. We were reunited, she found relief and I was at home.
Thank goodness for landmarks. Honestly I would never have made it home without them. I would not have known or figured out the way. I would not have known to turn down that street. I would not have known that I was still going in the right direction. I would not have known to look around the corner. I would have stayed lost and quite frankly there is no telling where I would have wound up.
I got lost again, it was later in life. Only the next time I was about 17. I wasn’t physically lost. I was lost in life. It was spiritual. It was a lostness that had to do with who I was, who I was supposed to be and what life was all about for me. Again, I had feelings of despair and uncertainty. I really didn’t know where to go for that safety and peace that I was crying out for inside. I needed to find a way “home”.
Then I remembered and saw some landmarks. Landmarks laid over more than two decades. Landmarks laid by grandparents and parents. They were the landmarks of faith in Christ, trust in God, prayer, and belief in His Word. At each landmark I could make a turn and be encouraged that I was on the right path until I finally made it home. I finally found peace.
You know, we all get lost in life. Your kids and grandkids will be lost at some point. It happens to us all as we take roads in life. We follow people, experiences or our own desires and sometimes we get to the end of the road and realize we are lost. We sometimes wonder how to get out of there. We need some landmarks.
What kind of landmarks are you laying for your kids and grandkids? Will those landmarks lead them home? They need some landmarks that they can follow. Truthfully, you are laying landmarks for them. The real question is when they follow them where will those landmarks lead? Lay some that lead home. I have the feeling you won’t regret it and they’ll be glad you did.
You may be lost right now. Look around, see the old landmarks laid long ago. Landmarks laid over decades of faithfulness by people of influence in your life. Go in the direction of one. Find a another and follow it. The landmarks lead home. They lead to peace.
Blessings to you all. I don’t know, I’m just an old redneck and that’s just the way I see it.