So, Sunday, I got lost in Indiana. It wasn’t that I did so on purpose. It’s not like I decided to meander and wander around the back roads of north eastern Indiana. I mean, not all who wander are lost. Me? I got lost in my wandering. As I posted yesterday, I got stuck in construction traffic in Indiana. I think it took 45 minutes to go two miles. There’s this rest stop that’s about two miles from the Michigan/Indiana border as you enter into Indiana. By the time I got there, everyone and their brother had pulled off into that rest stop. It was jam packed. But the traffic hadn’t ceased. It was still backed up.
It went on for miles and miles. At times it felt like a parking lot rather than an interstate. Finally at the second exit for Michigan City, IN, I got off to try to get some food. No luck. There was traffic all over and to be honest, I really didn’t want McDonalds. But I thought I’d play it smart. I knew that there was a back way, an emergency I-94 route that took back roads. I just couldn’t remember if it started here or in Valpo. I learned quickly that it didn’t start here.
As I took the frontage roads, I began to see how the traffic was backed up. The frontage road I was on had a speed limit of 35 mph. This was still faster than what I was going on the interstate. So I kept on. But then the road I was on came to a dead end. I could turn north or south but that was it. I chose north. Bad choice. Found a place to turn around after three miles of nothing and went back the way from whence I came.
This happened a couple of times. Every so often, I had to make a choice based on just my gut. I finally got another glimpse of the interstate and now the east bound lanes were backed up and the west bound lanes were flowing freely. The only problem was that I had about 5 more miles of straight interstate roads until the next exit to get back on again. Well, that wasn’t the only problem. The frontage road turned and went into the countryside of Indiana (which is prettier than I had originally imagined) and I was now going through some small towns.
I had two choices–get flustered, get on Apple Maps, and be upset for the next who knows how long or enjoy myself as I meandered and wandered through the countryside of north east Indiana. I chose to enjoy myself. I turned on the Air 1 app on my phone and crusied at the speed limit as the road twisted and turned through small towns and country roads.
I soon came to Chesterton area with it’s strip malls and fast food parlors.
I pulled off into a parking lot and asked Siri the great existential question: “Siri, where am I?” After thanking Siri (which I do, and I think she appreciates it), I found my way back to the interstate.
Now, not all who wander are lost. But those who are lost are allowed to wander. I had decided to take out the hurry in my travels. I was already greatly behind schedule. I figured I might as well enjoy myself with where I was at. I had no control over the construction. I had no control over the traffic. Once I left the interstate, I had no control over where the roads would take me. I had to trust and enjoy myself.
Sometimes the Christian life is much like that. You have to trust God and enjoy yourself. We don’t always have a road map. We don’t always know where we’re going. Every so often, God gives us a glimpse of where we need to be but the road that will take us there is not straight, it’s winding, like the back country roads I took.
If we’re hurried, we’ll miss out on the view and the charm and the life to be lived. If we just want to take the straight path, then we miss out on the beauty that we don’t always know is there. I saw a Beauty in Indiana I had never seen before because I always had taken the I-94 straight through and never got off unless I had to get gas or coffee or food. In eliminating hurry and being willing to wander while lost, I learned much, saw much, and enjoyed much.
In the Christian life, when we trust in Jesus to lead the way, trust in the great power of God to be in control, we can eliminate the hurry that we think we need, and simply enjoy being with Jesus, allowing him to direct us as we see the beauty of what is around.
How can you eliminate the hurry of life today to enjoy the life around you?