Navigating When You Can't See What's Next
A few years ago, the Hubs and I took a trip to the United Kingdom. It was a dream come true for me in so many ways and the Hubs graciously indulged me in trekking to all the places I’d been dreaming of going.
I wanted to see things that may not be on everyone’s “UK Bucket-list.” This meant traversing the verdant countryside on many backroads with little helpful signage. The day we travelled all the way from Edinburgh, Scotland to York in England by way of a tedious search for remaining bits of Hadrian’s Wall, is a day that often springs to mind as a day that my sweet Man exhibited immense amounts of patience and love - the tiny roads with light filtering through the trees, sheep dotting the hills that were green even in February, the endless round-abouts that kept us on our toes, the repeated mis-directions from our GPS that had us pulling our hair out.
The little GPS had us in some very tiny and interesting places. Many of the stripe-less, back roads were scarcely more than single-lanes, often with abrupt hills and deep dips. Frequently there were warning signs on the side of the road, cautioning, “BLIND SUMMIT!” We quickly learned this meant that as you climb the steep hill, as much as you strain, you cannot see even the road ahead of you, much less anything coming toward you until you are over the crest of the hill and staring down. Add to this “fun” rollercoaster the fact that you are driving on a side of the road that is foreign to you with all your deeply ingrained instincts screaming that you are on the “wrong” side as you blindly speed toward who-knows-what!
The boyish dare-devil I’m married to didn’t even enjoy this at first! (I say, “at first” because once he realized how empty the roads were, he began to enjoy it a bit too much….) As my fingernails dug into the seat and my stomach was left behind at each summit and pit, I began to feel this was a metaphor for life!
If you were to read my journals (which are really just written conversations between myself and the Lord, so please do not), you would see that I’m often asking Him what in the world is going on. What is going on in my life, my family, my world. And although He is often gracious to answer my questions, He is equally likely to encourage me to just keep moving forward.
If it were up to me, and if this metaphor were real life, I think I would be frequently stopping my car, mid-incline, running up the hill on foot, and peering over the precipice to make sure I was safe to proceed. My heart is not the least bit fond of the “blind summits” of life. Instead, I am told to stay behind the wheel, to not pull off, to not quit. I am told to trust the One who knows what is ahead and just keep going forward into the unknown.
This is life. It is unknowns and questions and learning to trust, trust, trust in the face of all those unanswered queries. The beauty is that “trust” is an active agent in me – building me, strengthening me, fusing me to the One I am trusting on this crazy ride.
“Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love, for in you I trust. Make me know the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.” Psalm 143:8