Finding Our Way

Lake Tahoe

Last week on vacation in California we decided to drive up to Lake Tahoe from Folsom where my conference was held.

The tourist spot that overlooked Emerald Bay was packed. We kept driving. Found this nice rock outcropping.

We found  place to park and hiked around to a small, barely noticeable trail that led from the road to this small rock ledge.

The view was beautiful. I sat cross-legged on the rock and contemplated the view for a while.

Lake Tahoe 2

Then we turned to head back.

We had only traveled about 500 feet. There was no sign of the road. No sign of a path on the rock ledge. Looking up the terrain was just a pile of rocks.

For about five seconds I felt what people who have gotten lost in the wilderness must feel.

Or, people lost in life. There is nothing distinguishing with which to become oriented. If you go one way, it is sure death from a several hundred foot fall. The other way appears insurmountable.

What to do?

I took a deep breath. Quit looking far ahead. I knew the general direction from which we came.

So, it was one small trail. The noticing the small path that cut through some brush. Then the broken tree we had gone under. Then the tricky balancing act around some fallen rocks. Then the road was there above us. A short climb, and back to the road.

I thought–the spiritual life is like that. Sometimes we venture out to live life. We want the beautiful, the spectacular. We find ourselves in a spot where we’ve lost our bearings.

We only need to take that deep breath. Relax. Reorient.

In the spiritual life, the steps are opening the Bible again. Not to understand the whole thing. Reading Romans or James or Galatians. Simple paths.

Prayer, stopping to converse with God becomes another step.

Finding a spiritual mentor or guide or small group is another step.

Then we find our way through the rocks and brush. We’re on our way home.

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