I once got thoroughly lost on the Paris Metro. It’s true.
The London Tube I know almost by heart–at least zone one. But take me away from that familiar vodka-bottle-shaped map and I’m hopeless.
I spent a day riding forlornly from one hopelessly Gallic-sounding station to another. It’s just one more reason to dislike the French.
Sometimes life is like the Metro ride from hell.
You feel lost–like you’re a piece of ice in a vodka martin shaken–not stirred–to the point that you don’t know which way is up.
The map doesn’t make sense.
The familiar landmarks and waypoints have been eclipsed.
Hope is hard to come by.
Despair seems reasonable.
The world around you is full of Parisians who think you’re a bloody idiot for getting lost.
That’s the kingdom word for the experience of lostness.
When we’re lost the part of us that looks for God becomes sensitive–a finely tuned antenna searching for a signal of the Divine.
When all is well we take our bearings from other places.
We look to familiar people, places, themes, pleasures in order to make our way through life.
But in the fog of exile these are diminished.
And so we creep forward, slowly, seeking just a little light to guide our feet–slipping through the haze like a ship making for an obscured harbor.
We often find that God is in the mist and our faltering steps in those moments are more faithful than other times when we confidently strode into our self-actualized future.
Exile is hard.
But it is necessary.