Most of the time I don’t mind getting lost; you see something that you hadn’t meant to see (good and bad) and generally speaking you can get back on track at some point. Granted when you are lost on a hiking trail in a downpour or lost on your way to an interview or appointment that is another problem… I named this blog “Joyfully Lost” because you could probably drop me anywhere in the world (sub-artic) and I would be pretty happy exploring. But I also titled my blog thusly because I am still working on becoming joyfully lost in life (because I am most definitely lost). I have no idea what I’m doing next, I have a plane ticket home but until I’m on the plane I have no idea whether I’ll go home or not and even then there is that stopover in Amsterdam that could provide a tempting exit point.
Generally speaking I have followed a prescribed path through high school and then university; even my year in Japan I was still moving towards my Bachelor’s degree. This has mostly been my perceived track in life but I have never seen the path ahead of me to know if it is correct or not. It is the path behind me that has served of a guideline of sorts to how I should proceed. I make judgments based off my environment, my past experiences (this worked and that didn’t), and what direction I feel God is pulling me in.
But while this is the area of life that I am constantly lost in it is also the area of life where I have the most problem reconciling the ideas of “joyful” and “lost”. I keep wanting to plan for the future; I want to know what I am going to do in my life and I want to know if I will have a conventional career and what that will look like and I want to know what I would enjoy doing the rest of my life. I want to know if I’ll ever graduate university, if I’ll get my master’s degree, if I’ll live abroad… The questions go on. And they aren’t bad questions in and of themselves, most people ask them.
I don’t want to live an aimless life; the kind of life where I drift through the easiest doors. And at the same time trying to plan for the future has been a trial that makes me think and aimless life might have its appeal. Through my life I have made some life decisions based on perceived futures that don’t exist anymore and I look back and wonder “what if….” I know that God has a purpose for each and every moment of my life but it is still easy to feel like time has been wasted or that I should have been more decisive in certain situations.
I honestly don’t know how to be joyfully lost in life. I don’t know how to balance planning for the future and living out every day and moment to the best of my ability. It always seems that I am sacrificing one for the other. If I am focusing on the moment and just living day to day then the big decisions catch me off guard and I miss opportunities for the future. At the same time if I make decisions based on my plans for the future I often sacrifice a lot in the present. I guess maybe the question is how much of the present is it healthy to sacrifice for the future? I don't want to sound like I'm complaining because my life has, for the most part, been incredible. I'm just confused about how to take what I have learned and am learning from this last year and how to apply it to the present and to the future.
I wish I had answers, I really really like answers…. But I don’t so I guess I just have to get over it.
For now I am just going to practice being joyfully lost in Christ, trying to lose myself, my desires and my pain, so completely in him that it is His will being played out every day in my life. I think this means having a mixture of living out every day as a follower of Christ; living joyfully in the moment despite my disorientation, and praying constantly that my will is aligned with his and that he will show me enough of what He has planned for me that I can make the right choices for the future. Granted I am going to completely and utterly fail because I’m human and I sin; but at least it gives me a current present goal that doesn’t require me to sacrifice the present for the future.
(I feel like this should have been tied into some real life story about me getting physically lost in Africa but it doesn’t…. So far I’ve found my way everywhere I’ve gone….. but I am confident that there is a chance I could get lost before I leave.)