I’m so thankful that I’ve started writing things down. I forget so quickly.
I write what is on my heart: thoughts, questions, inspirations. I put the pen to paper and keep it moving, moving, moving. Sometimes beautiful thoughts appear. Sometimes I catch glimpses of the way that God is moving in my heart and in my life. When I record these glimpses on paper, I can return to them on the lost days.
I find it so easy to get lost. For me, lost feels like I’m merely skimming the surface of this life. Not noticing. Not paying attention. It’s all I can do to put one foot in front of the other and stay upright until it’s time to try to find some sleep, which seems especially elusive this week.
Lost feels grey, like a November morning. The bloom and fire I felt just a little bit ago have been replaced by weariness.
Lost feels like my ears are stuffed, and I cannot hear. Worse, it feels like there is nothing to hear.
Lost just feels empty.
But I know that Lost is not where I will stay.
I love this thought by Dietrich Bonhoeffer about the new beginnings offered by each day:
“Each morning is a new beginning of our life. Each day is a finished whole. The present day marks the boundaries of our cares and concerns. It is long enough to find God or to lose him, to keep faith or fall into disgrace. God created day and night for us so we need not wander without boundaries, but may be able to see every morning the goal of the evening ahead. Just as the ancient sun rises anew every day, so the eternal mercy of God is new every morning. Every morning God gives us the gift of comprehending anew his faithfulness of old; thus, in the midst of our life with God, we may daily begin a new life with him.”[i]
Lost and found can happen in a day. In a matter of minutes.
I know that I’m not really Lost. Sometimes I know this because I write things down. I can look back and see that God has me. I can trust where I am going.
It helps to know that I am found when I can’t feel it.
It also helps to know what things make me feel lost. Like insomnia and monthly visits from Eeyore when everything is grey and glum. Insomnia and Eeyore usually coincide. I recognize the Eeyore voice for what it is, and I can usually tell it that it just needs sleep. Things will brighten up in a few days. I am gentle with my expectations on these grey, tired days.
Busyness makes me feel lost. Rushing through life makes me feel lost. I need to make space for slow. This is hard. It almost feels revolutionary.
I love, love this thought by John O’Donohue:
“Where things are moving too quickly, nothing can stabilize, gather, or grow. . . . Many people who are secretly weary . . . have never given themselves time, or taken time out . . . to allow their spirits to catch up. Giving yourself plenty of time is a simple but vital reflective exercise: Leave all agendas behind you. Let the neglected presence of your soul come to meet and engage you again.”[ii]
Maybe that is why I feel lost when I am moving too fast. My spirit hasn’t had time to catch up with me. I can feel that. I don’t want to outrun my soul, so I’m trying to move a little slower these days. Leave a little earlier so that I’m not running late and hurried. This is harder to do when you are herding little people who have agendas of their own. But I’m trying. I try to make space for moments of nothing: when nothing is happening and there is no where that I need to be. Where all I need to do is be. This time, more than anything, helps to breathe life back into my spirit. This is where I am found.
When I feel lost, I sit myself down and open up my hands while my heart cries out: Here I am, God. Here I am.
When I feel lost, I stop and read where I have been. I am reminded of the direction that I am going. There is a direction. It is good. And I know that I am not lost.
[i] Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Meditating on the Word, p. 28-29 (emphasis added).
[ii] John O’Donohue, Anam Cara, p. 151-52.