Retracing your steps can help you find your way

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 8, 2011

I admit it. I’m navigationally challenged. Despite my best efforts to pay attention, watch the signs and follow directions, I have been lost

on more than one occasion. I recently made a few wrong turns, heeded really bad advice from someone

who apparently knew even less than I did and found myself wandering around in Oschner Hospital two floors and many hallways from where I was supposed to meet my daughter.

I once got lost in Houma after a volleyball tournament in which

two other daughters were playing.

I decided to go home rather than

follow the team to a restaurant.

Bad decision. The next thing I knew, I was in a part of town I did not know, and thanks to my wonderful daughters, when I turned on the GPS the directions were in French.

The moment I realize I am not where I’m supposed to be, I remember the advice I heard years ago while wandering the country roads of Eunice in search of a retreat center. The calm and experienced driver, who never once ridiculed me for my inability to direct her to a place I had been before, simply said, “We’ll just retrace our steps and go back to the last place you knew was right.” And we did. We then asked for help and followed the map to the place we were supposed to be.

I’ve used that same advice in many different situations. Occasionally it’s when I’m in a strange, or even familiar town or in hospitals or office buildings, but most often it is when I find my life has gotten off course. When I’m unsettled about something, if the road I’m on is leading nowhere or when my attitude gets off track, I return to the last place I knew all was well and I had peace.

I then try to determine where I went wrong. Often it’s because I chose to worry about things over which I have no control. Sometimes I discover I have been wasting

time on activities that do not profit and neglecting more important matters. And yes, although I hate to admit this, there’s been

an occasion or two (or many) when I realize I need to apologize

for something I’ve said or done.

I’m so grateful for the availability of God’s wisdom for this journey through life. Nothing matches the comfort I receive from His

Word. It provides direction for those important crossroads and assurance that even if I take a wrong turn, I can stop and get things right. Proverbs 28:13 reminds me, “People who conceal their sins will not prosper, but if they confess and turn from them, they will receive mercy.”

Mercy. I’ve received it in abundance and extend it freely. Even to the daughters who messed with my GPS. So, as you continue on your journey, in the words of the French lady on my GPS, “Bon Voyage.”

Ronny may be reached at