“He was lost.” When you read that sentence without any further context, the word lost could mean several things – he didn’t know where he was, he didn’t know which way to go, or he was confused. (Another possibility – he wasn’t following the correct religious dogma, will have to wait for another time.) One thing all these possibilities have in common is not knowing something. No knowing is an uncomfortable feeling for most of us, isn’t it? We like to KNOW, or at least think we do, everything we believe we should, and in this age of technology there are few excuses for not knowing whatever it is you want to know. Mystery is more often feared, or at least avoided, whenever possible. Mystery represents a void, an emptiness or vacuum in our knowledge.The Unknown.
I have spent much of my adult life moving from Point A to Point B, always knowing, or at least thinking I did, what my next destination was. I found security and comfort in that. Along the way, though, I missed a lot because I was so forward focused that I didn’t appreciate the space between the points. A lot of the mystery was in there, in the unexpected events along the road. And then one day one of those unexpected events changed the entire course of my life. The Point B I had been moving toward vanished. Gone. No longer an option. I felt lost. Directionless. And in that moment (day, month, year…) it would have been most comfortable to just re-work my plan and resume the journey toward a Modified Point B that was similar to the original one in as many ways as possible. There was a great deal of temptation to do just that.
I didn’t though. Instead, I chose to do something I had never done before. I threw out Point B altogether and decided to embrace the mystery of the journey I’m on. At my age, I have no more lofty goals to pursue. I’ve had all the new cars, big houses, and stuff that money can buy, and found it sorely lacking in the most fundamental ways. Empty. Lifeless. Devoid of meaning. At my age, the most precious thing I have, aside from my kids, is Time. And time is short, fleeting, of the essence, etc. It’s true. Act now, while supplies last.
So. Instead of a new Destination, I’m choosing to take one day at a time, and let the One who decides all things lead me on a course of mystery and no knowing. It feels good. I’m more relaxed and peaceful than I ever expected. Not knowing does require one thing I had always lacked. Trust. Everything will work out without my constant striving to control the outcome. That’s real inner peace. And I will go where I will go.
“Not all those who wander are lost…”