You’ve heard about not being able to see the forest for all the trees, but you can’t fully understand that paradox until you have been there. I’ve been in situations where I have lost all sense of direction in the trees. The horizon has completely vanished, no landmarks, no sun, no trail. One time as a kid, I climbed a tree above Poudre Canyon looking for Washout Gulch – it worked!
I remember when my son and I hiked to Bierstadt Lake in the morning darkness for sunrise pics. We like to have never found the lake. We had left the trail in a different place than we intended and only accidentally found the lake. Ha! That could have ended badly! In fact, two out-of-state hikers had to be rescued from that same area about two weeks later. They had gotten lost in the deep dark forest!
I’ve never been afraid of the forest, neither do I get overly concerned when it seems like I have lost my way in life. It’s temporary and I eventually stumble on to a familiar landmark that points me onward.
A few years ago I lost my way in my personal life. My wife, Toni, was the landmark that showed me the way back home. I also recall losing my way when I was forced to transition from a salaried career to hourly employment, tough years. Another time, soon after having lasik surgery, I had a hard time driving my way out of the Pawnee Butte area in NE Colorado. There were no trees, but my healing vision was severely blurred that night and I could not read my map, or the road signs!!
Getting “lost” for two days on the South Fork of the Poudre River at age 19 comes to mind. I knew where I was, it’s just that no one else knew where I was, or if I were okay. I was fishing and had mis-measured the distance I had to travel. At least I had the sense to not risk my safety by continuing in difficult mountainous terrain when night fell.
In each of these events, I was able to eventually find my way. Someone could rightfully say that it was my own poor judgment that had gotten me lost. I agree, but I can’t condemn myself because the brain that got me lost was the same brain that got me found! I tapped in to my deeper instincts. I gained a new perspective. I walked through and eventually out, one step at a time. Same guy, at the exact same time in his life, got lost and then found. And this has been repeated over and over, as it has for all of us.
Do you understand the significance of this?? The ability, knowledge and intuition were all present in me AS I was getting lost to begin with! The change was in perspective, a turning point, a new piece of information, or corrected information, a new factor, a new player, or a new resolve.
The Loser and the Finder are ONE!
Our personal wisdom and maturity will not always keep us out of trouble – ha! Lost happens. Don’t beat yourself up too badly for getting yourself lost because you would also be beating up the person that got you found! The Loser and the Finder are one in the same!
If you are still lost, know that you already have it in you to be found. Don’t panic! Don’t stress! Don’t become discouraged!
There is within you an ember – we are all born with it! To each one is given the measure of faith. In the same way that an ember can start a massive forest fire, this measure of faith inside you is everything you need for life, wholeness, wisdom, awareness, creative problem solving, emotional intelligence, spiritual adrenaline and stamina.
Fear not the forest, rather turn it into firewood! Fan into flame the gift that is within you! Light a fire that will show you the way! You are not lost! You are right where you need to be to learn what you need to learn, to prepare you for what is yet being formulated in your future.
You may have gotten yourself into this, but you will also get yourself out!
You may be in a situation not of your own choosing, but that doesn’t mean you have to stop choosing! It may be time to choose something else!
You may be having trouble finding your way. Follow those who have gone on before you, who surround you now. Lean on us! We are all in this together – you belong!