Should I go straight or take the scenic route?
Do you wanna get lost?
Most people think being lost is undesirable, scary, or, at very least, inconvenient. Not Mom. Her eyes would twinkle and each lovely laugh line would deepen around her face when she would turn her head to ask me one of those questions. Getting lost was an invitation to an adventure. In fact, even when she was really lost unintentionally, she’d grinningly announce, “I’m not lost! God knows where I am.” And believe me, I heard that phrase a lot – mom had a hard time finding her way out of a paper bag. When my middle girl was four, she decided to take her out shopping one afternoon for birthday clothes and treats. By 9:30 that night I was panicked. It was pitch black outside, no call, no nothing and the two were still gone. I had just picked up the phone to call the police when I heard the knock on the door.
In pranced my four-year-old announcing, “I told Nana how to get home!” Mom had gotten lost, turned around somehow in the dark. She had been driving in circles from what I could make out when my little one turned to her and said, “Nana, it’s that way,” and directed her home.
Mom was good like that. She had no problems taking route directions from a three-foot child.
We had been lost so many times, it became our thing. Mom would look over and smile and euphemistically ask about whether to take the scenic route. It meant – I love your company. I’d like to enjoy hanging out with you a little longer. The long drives encouraged conversation. The beautiful scenery made the drive more enjoyable. And, the idea that no matter where we went God could still guide us home was both a comfort and a life lesson.
There are times in my life when I have felt “lost.” But, the security in the knowledge that I’ll never be so lost that God can’t find me and bring me home has strengthened me in my weakest times.
The tradition carried on through my dating years. My future husband and I would “get lost” going home too. Sometimes we’d discover hidden gems, others just great company. And now that I have children, my kids know that if they just want a little more uninterrupted time together, they need only ask to take the scenic route.
So much of our lives are scheduled and packed full of massive To-Do lists that we seldom take the time to lose ourselves in the magnificent world God made for us. There is a passage in one of my favorite books, Fahrenheit 451, when Clarisse, a free-spirited teen tells Montag that people spend so much time speeding from one place to another that they never have time to really look at the flowers – they become only a colored blur in passing. What a terrible thing to miss!
So next time you unnecessarily mindlessly race from one place to the next, try getting lost with someone you love- it does wonders for the soul!