I was a little lost today.
At my desk.
Not a long commute, when you’ve got a home office.
Nevertheless, I was a little lost today.
Day 45 of my daughter’s concussion.
She had a headache again and went back to bed.
My wife with debilitating shoulder pain. 14 hours in EMERG.
It's been a tough week. Albeit small compared to the travails refugees are facing across the world. A 105 year old Afghani woman named Bibihal (below) flees her war torn country for safety. 105! Trudging across Eastern Europe looking for a new home. In Canada debates begin about whether we can actually receive thousands of Syrian refugees before Christmas as promised. Diplomats from Russia and the USA go to Syria to try to broker peace, but these are the same two superpowers supporting rival factions.
The world is more than a little lost today.
How do we gain hope in a world so hungry for it?
Rebecca Solnik says in her Field Guide to Getting Lost that the word ‘lost’ comes from the Old Norse from when an army disbands. The warriors wander.
I guess the euphoria of war ending still involves transition, and back then, going home without GPS nor return flight meant lots of meandering, lost purpose, the departure from your platoon, all of which would be disorienting.
But then how do we go about finding our way home unless we are willing to walk through the wilderness?
I like the mind-bending words of Rebecca Solnik, “That thing the nature of which is totally unknown to you is usually what you need to find, and finding it is a matter of getting lost.”
Or in other words, trailblazing your way as a pilgrim. As pilgrims we know we are accompanied, even when lost in the dark valley. Deeper into the woods or along the Emmaus Road, a stranger always joins us.
Last week I took a retreat day at Rivendell on Bowen Island. I went on a run down a trail and crossed a stream and found the trail narrowed, and disappeared. Running back I lost my way, and yes… found myself disoriented for a short time . (Like pioneer Daniel Boone: “I’ve never been lost. I was confused once for three days.”)
Returning to Rivendell, I ran past a labyrinth. I’d already had my circuitous run, so I passed on the experience.
Back at Rivendell I joined the evening prayer time. The people present were people I knew but didn’t expect to see, all there also for a personal retreat.
One gave me a picture of a labyrinth with the words “Dhonnohbahd” (Bangladeshi for “Thank you.”). She thanked me for the role I played in her call to missions.
My hope is that God continues to raise up Kingdom pilgrims like her who will go out into His world and bring the good news to people like Bibihal and her family, creating home for those who wander lost.
Sometimes the stranger who joins us on the labyrinth road is no stranger at all.
director of missions IVCF
Mission Pilgrims is the call to live all life as a mission road following Jesus, growing as disciples as we go making disciples.
I host this blog but will involve many other contributors who are walking in Jesus mission with their lives, including:
Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship staff and students, campers, alumni, teachers, engineers, doctors, business, social workers, bakers, and candlestick-makers. Jesus calls all in His life-long mission pilgrimage whether its across the street or across the world.
For more extraordinary stories of our short-term missions, go to Extraordinary Stories