One moonless night on the streets of a quiet neighborhood, before the invention of the smartphone, the darkness made reading a map or finding street signs impossible. Driving alone in the unfamiliar city, I fought back tears of frustration and panic as I passed a building for the fourth time that night, lost and confused.
Spotting a gas station with lights on, I pulled into the lot and walked up to the attendant. “Can you help me find my way home?” He kindly gave me directions, but “east, west, north, and south” might as well be a foreign language to me, so I left as disoriented as when I arrived.
By God’s grace, I eventually found my way home. My husband patiently listened as I shamefully confessed the reason for my late return. He gave up on teaching me proper orientation years ago, reluctantly accepting that the only effective navigational method for me is to identify landmarks.
Lost in the Dark
Baffled by my directional impairment, the rest of my family tries to help with instructions to “just look at the sun!” But what if it’s dark and cloudy? How do I find my way when I can’t see what’s around me or when I can’t see the stars or the sun or the street signs?
The start of a new year can sometimes feel a bit like wandering into darkness. We may have plans, goals, or even resolutions, but the reality is that our future is as clear to us as a misty, moonless night in a strange land. How will we navigate the next twelve months when we take a wrong turn, are blindsided by the unexpected, or find ourselves in uncharted territory?
Several years ago, during a season of extraordinarily difficult circumstances surrounding physical health, financial stress, and relational conflict, I felt like I was wandering in circles in the dark, getting nowhere. Day after day, I put one foot in front of the other, but I had more questions than answers, completely perplexed by what was happening in my life and the lives of those around me.
Even though I read God’s Word daily, prayed almost constantly, and sought counsel from mature, godly Christians, I felt absolutely clueless. Why is this happening? How do I deal with this? When will it end?
Finding True North
In desperation, I confessed to a friend that I didn’t know how I could go on without answers. She responded with a question that cast light on my life and became my “True North.” It’s what I use to reorient myself when I feel lost.