Where are You?

This past fall I was in Jerusalem with some friends.  One day we were visiting the Old City, a maze of narrow, ancient stone walkways that can confuse even the most veteran tourist.

One of the women in our group got separated from us and was lost.  And she didn’t have phone service.  So she was dependent on Arabic speaking shop keepers to figure out where she was, and where she was going.  Ahh the adventures of international travel.

It made me think of similar situations we’ve had in our family.  Some of us (I’m not going to name names) are known for getting lost – a tad disoriented, if you will.  And on cross-country road trips have been known to end up in the wrong state.  One daughter in particular has been know to have us “Mapquest her in”, keeping us on the phone like Mission Control.

If someone calls you and says, “I’m lost, can you help me?” what’s the first question you ask?

“Where are you?” Right?

In other words, “what are the landmarks you see around you?”  

As Jesus people our “destination” is wherever He wants us…where we are becoming most like Him.  Our goal is the “with Jesus life”.

But in order for that to happen, every once in awhile we need to ask ourselves “Where am I now?” 

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If you’re joining us on our one word journey and haven’t found your word yet, this may help.  There are as many “YOU ARE HERE’s” as there are individuals.  Do any of these resonate with you?

Rest stop.  I have a dear friend who has pancreatic cancer and that has meant the much of the activity in her life needs to stop.  There is a lot of quiet, and prayer, and pain-management, and focus on getting better, which is darn hard, because rest is tough work in itself.  Maybe you’ve come through an intense season of work or emotional turmoil and you need refreshment, healing, or space to grieve.

You may need to hear Jesus say, “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (Mt. 11:28-30)

Place of Reorienting.  You may feel stuck, have taken a detour, or are entering a new season of life.  You need to get back on track.  You may be seeking a new normal….new spiritual rhythms.

Jeremiah wrote, “Set up signposts to mark your trip home. Get a good map. Study the road conditions. The road out is the road back. Come back, dear virgin Israel, come back to your hometowns. How long will you flit here and there, indecisive? How long before you make up your fickle mind? GOD will create a new thing in this land: A transformed woman will embrace the transforming GOD!”  (30:31, 32)

Black Diamond Trail.  You may be in new, challenging terrain, either by choice or not.  I have a friend who has been leading his organization through a very important, high stress time where there’s much potential for misunderstanding and division.  There is an awareness of spiritual warfare and desperate need for wisdom.

And God gives it.  “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God,who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” James 1:5

“The eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.” 2 Chron. 16:9

AAA.  Maybe you’re at the travel store just looking at brochures.  You’re seeking, questioning, trying to decide if you really want to embark on this journey of faith.

And God reassures you, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13

Trail Head.  You’re just starting out on the journey of faith.  You may still be trying out new equipment and figuring out how to pace yourself.  Your next step may be finding a trail guide who’s a little more familiar with the terrain than you are.

Wherever you are, know that God is there too.  Jeremiah had this to say…

“Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.”

Where are you?

4 Comments

  1. The “landmarks” around me are all moving/unstable/ in transition!!!
    One day they look a certain way and another they look different or they have moved some…..My husbands work/ministry is changing for him at 65yrs old; our house is for sale so my place of refuge has been transformed to a hotel like environment; our boys are both getting married this next year which means they don’t need mom to bounce things off of for the most part, and I am having to share them a whole lot more than before; and my practice is taking a different shape as I adjust to a new location and cut my hours back some.
    So I find myself resonating with being in emotional turmoil at times, trying to find a rhythm of grace that is unforced, needing to seek a new normal- but unable to with my landmarks moving and taking on new shapes almost daily. So many things in the air, trying to find that space where I can be refreshed and in a position to let God show me what rest is really like….And desiring more than ever to “keep company with God more consistently” and learn from Him as he leads me through this time. I know this is just a season – and soon it will resolve – but I don’t want to miss anything God has for me in this time. I am so thankful to God for his promises to be with me always, and to show me the way so I can walk in it, and for individuals that help me to put into words what I am going on…
    Thanks again Laura!

    • Oh my gosh Janet, thanks so much for sharing. Although your life is unique, I imagine others reading your words may give a sigh of relief thinking “Oh! Thank heavens! I’m not the only one who feels this way!” This season sounds incredibly challenging. What I see in your words is an awareness of deep dependence on God – a rock when so many things seem to be shifting and changing. So thankful you don’t want to miss anything He has for you!

  2. Hi Laura,
    Some time ago you mentioned a book called 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess by Jen Hatmaker. It was really worth the read, thanks for the recommendation! Here’s what I had to say about it on my blog http://www.joannesreadingblog.wordpress.com
    Looking forward to reading Jen’s book Interrupted as well!

    • Terrific – glad you liked it! I appreciated the recap on your blog! I really felt that doing this experiment in community with others was valuable.

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