They say (well, technically J.R.R Tolkien says) that “Not all who wander are lost,” but this is usually not true for me. Most of the time, when I’m wandering, I have no idea where I am.
Maybe this wouldn’t be detrimental to someone good at directions. Maybe there are people who can wander far away and still find their way back. I am not one of them.
When I’m wandering, send out the search team because I cannot and will not find my way back on my own.
Luckily, no matter how far we wander, our Savior knows the exact latitude and longitude of our whereabouts. We may feel as if we are lost or forgotten, but we know the Bible tells us how important that “lost” sheep is to Jesus.
I am a questioner, a thinker, a precocious, curious person, so it is common for me to head off to wander and explore. Unfortunately, I also have a concerningly short attention span, so many times when I began to wander, I forget what I was even looking for. I just get lost as distraction after distraction pulls me further and further away.
Another of my downfalls is that I also tend to think I am way more adorable than I actually am.
In the Bible, we as believers are referred to as sheep hundreds of times. A few weeks ago in church, our Pastor did the entire message on sheep and their relationship with their Shepherd and it impacted me so greatly that soon I am going to write a post solely dedicated to sheep. (Words I never thought I would say). #staytuned #bahhhhh
If you have kept up with my faith journey over the past few months, you know I have been in a season of wandering, of doubt and of questioning. I don’t think these seasons are bad or wrong; in fact, I think incredible amounts of growth can occur in these times of uncertainty.
But the thing about wandering is that you are vulnerable. You are away from the herd, out in the open, and in a sense, defenseless, as you pull away trying to make sense or seek answers or find your own path.
For me, it could be emotional, spiritual or even physical wandering, but my wandering isn’t usually two steps to the side of the group where I can find my way back with a casual smooth move back in and no one even noticed I was gone.
My wandering tends to be zig zagged, forward and backwards, up and down.
A full speed sprint ahead when I want to avoid the present.
Slowly stepping back when I don’t like the direction I am headed for the future.
Collapsing to the ground, and stubbornly staying put when I refuse to give up something I want.
Hiding in anger when I can’t answer the questions I want to ask.
Tying myself to a tree, defiantly holding on to the past because I want it to come with me.
Distracting God with my amazing dance moves and literally flailing around all of the other obedient sheep as I stage 5 freak out.
I am a special sheep. I would definitely be the first voted off the pasture in ‘Sheep Survivor.’
*Disclaimer, I wish I could say that I knew immediately the picture of me and the goat was not a sheep- however it took some critical thinking skills. A goat is the closest animal to a sheep I have a picture of.
Me and pictures of farm animals that in my head are related to sheep:
Like I said, God works in the wandering. Purposeful wandering can provide growth and maturity.
But in my wandering, I have become distracted; I have forgotten what I was even looking for to begin with.
What a dangerous place to be. Aimlessly wandering, forgetting your purpose, getting buried in busyness, being pulled away by shiny things, chasing after whatever you see in front of you.
That’s the danger of wandering. You are so, very vulnerable. And Satan knows that.
Lately, many amazing people have asked me how I am doing in regards to my faith. I don’t know how to answer that right now, because in my wandering, I have gotten pretty distracted.
There have been a lot of shiny things out there, competing for my attention, competing for my heart, and ultimately luring me away from the point of this purposeful wandering.
While I originally entered this season with a sense of purpose: to know God better and to love God deeper and to understand God more, I am afraid I have forgotten what in the world I am doing out here. I have gotten distracted. And sadly, I have gotten too comfortable in my wandering. To the point I have used it as an excuse:
“I’m just trying to figure things out with God right now.”
That statement isn’t wrong. But it’s wrong if you say it and you stop doing it.
What a scary place to be. To have wandered so far you actually feel like you might be okay on your own.
So to anyone who is wandering: Don’t forget what you are looking for.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that life outside His herd is actually not that bad. You are vulnerable away from Him, and I can tell you that there are predators roaming and waiting for you. You may feel safe for now, but it is an illusion.
For me, I know I need to re-focus on what I am searching for, and what it is I am praying God will do in me in this season.
If you are wandering, don’t forget to make it count and to make sure it’s purposeful. Don’t get comfortable out here.
My goal this week is to stop being comfortable in the wandering, and to start making definitive steps in my walk with the Lord.
Blessings, not chins