I looked out the window of the restaurant near the top of the John Hancock building in Chicago. I just completed lunch with my daughter and her friend, and we were making plans to head home. I peered out over the landscape and contemplated taking an alternative route. It surely appeared that the road heading north along the shore would bring me right where I wanted to go. We descended from our perch on high, loaded the car, and drove off along the route that I was certain would be best.
It really didn’t take all that long for me to realize that I was wrong. I thought it looked as if I could go north for quite awhile, but found myself with no other option than to go west. Before I knew it, I was weaving my way through all sorts of neighborhoods in the northern parts of Chicago, traveling west, north, south and east, again and again. I kept a close eye on the store fronts and intersections, hoping that I was not crossing in to more tenuous territory, but I was getting concerned. I was lost and had no idea where I was or even how to get back to where I had been. I did not have a map. Looking at the digital compass in my car was not helping. I did not have a GPS to plug in my destination point. I was in trouble, and I was feeling foolish.
Then I remembered -- OnStar. I had Onstar in the vehicle! Other than using it to unlock my doors when I had locked my keys in the car a half dozen or more times, I had never used it; I was desperate to try.
And, sure enough, it worked. I pushed the button and within seconds a friendly voice greeted me using my full name and introducing herself. “How can I help you today, Andrea?” I could feel my blood pressure lower just at the sound of her voice and the knowledge that she even knew my name!
I explained to her that I was lost and went through the story. Before I could even finish, she gently interrupted with, “Oh, I see just where you are. You are on “such and such a street” and should be crossing over “such and such a street.” No problem, Andrea. I can get you to just where you want to go. Don’t worry. I’ll stick right here with you and guide you along the way.”
And she did. Each intersection along the way she indicated where I was. She would tell me when I was approaching a new street or landmark, how long until I would need to turn, which lane I should get in to, which way I was to turn, and exactly when I was to turn. She stayed present in the vehicle with me until I was safely on the highway that I needed to be on, that would lead me home.
“Is there anything else I can help you with today, Andrea?” she graciously asked. I was tempted to ask for a cup of tea to calm my nerves, but then I realized that she had already done that. Her knowing who I was, where I was, and how and where I needed to go in order to get back on track was a great comfort to me.
So many times I have thought of this story. It happened a year ago, but it comes back to my mind when I find myself not so much lost in the car, but just lost in what I am to do next. Sometimes I get off track, I think I know the best way to go, but I don’t, and I need some help. Sometimes, I am just plain old perplexed. The road signs are all boggled up, and I need direction. Sometimes, I am hurt, or scared, or sad, or overwhelmed or just confused.
Thankfully, the Lord is ready, able and present to help. Psalm 145:17-19 says, “The Lord is righteous in all His ways and loving toward all He has made. The Lord is near to all who call on Him, to all who call on Him in truth. He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; He hears their cry and saves them.”
Lost wondering what to do next, dear reader? Confused about a circumstance in your life? Feeling off track and in need of guidance? Wandering around and not seeing any familiar landmarks? Not sure where to go or how to respond to a difficult situation? Frustrated with yourself over wrong choices you may have made? In need of wisdom and direction? Call out to the Lord and listen to His voice. He is present. He knows your name. He knows where you are and He is faithful to direct you in the way you should go, safe and sound.