In life we often get lost – and not just physically. And finding our way home requires practice.
Barbara Brown Taylor, in her book, An Altar in the World, says we all need to practice being lost because it happens so often.
She shares the many times she has been lost and her amazing discoveries because of those times. Essentially she points out how important it is to allow ourselves to get lost — so that we can be found.
The logical mind doesn’t compute this. We want to at least appear as if we know what we are doing and where we are going..
I remember when I thought I had parenting all figured out.
That lasted until my firstborn was less than a year old. My sense of being wise and having it together continued diminishing over the years.
In fact I pretty much groped my way through the “raising” of four children. (In retrospect, I think they really helped raise me)
I also remember when I felt fairly confident in my abilities as a Unity Minister. About six months into my first ministry challenges appeared and I realized I wasn’t as savvy as I had thought.
We all have times when our lives fall apart and the losses seem to overwhelm us. Like a divorce, a life threatening illness, or a death. Or a betrayal from a loved one.
We can become very disoriented, to say nothing of disillusioned or resentful because things didn’t turn out the way we had planned.
What I have learned through the many times of being lost is that I get to be reborn! A new me comes into being. But not without the pain of going through the loss
Barbara Taylor Brown gives three important skills to use when we find ourselves lost:
1. Manage your panic
2. Marshall your resources
3. Take a good look around to see where you are and what this
unexpected development might have to offer you.
First, managing our panic. A good way to begin is to breathe consciously. Feel the breath as it enters, and as it leaves your body. How calming this is. Keep doing this, allowing the breath to gradually ground you so that you can begin to marshal your resources.
Second skill: Marshalling our resources.
As our mind quiets, ideas come. You’ll be surprised what nudges you get and what connections pop into your mind. Just follow the guidance that comes and keep breathing!
How often I have realized my resources were already here, though I knew it not. Sometimes I just needed to make a couple calls or emails. Or I see I already have just what was required. It was hidden in plain sight!
And the third skill: Take a good look around, see where you are and wait for developments.
When you stop and wait, the unexpected often shows up. A stranger gives you just the help you need. You listen more deeply. One thing leads to another, and you discover more resources!
Something will happen. Be sure of this. It always does.
When lost, please know that God is already seeking you.
Remember Jesus’ stories about the lost coin and the lost sheep in Luke, Chapter 15? When a woman loses a coin she lights a candle and sweeps the house clean until she finds it.
And how the shepherd won’t give up looking until the sheep that was lost is found.
Similarly, the universe will never rest until you are found!
That’s how important you are, no matter how lost you may feel, you have never been abandoned by all that is Real. It’s with you all the time.
God’s arms are always holding you! Just drop into them and let yourself be held in love. It’s really an art.
This is the experience of being found! (But first you have to admit you are lost!)