Sunday, July 1, 2012

Finding the Way

We are visiting family in another state right now. Thanks to several weeks away from home at this point, my kids' routines (especially their sleep patterns) are all out of whack. This afternoon we went to church with my sister in law and her family, but Bear (5) and Eagle (2) were really tired, and since mormon church lasts 3 hours, I decided to bring them home in the middle, so that they could get naps.
My sister in law offered to drive us home (we had all come in one car), but it is only a few blocks, so I said no, we would walk home.
On the way  home, Bear got several yards ahead of me (I was walking with Eagle at a slower pace). It's a residential area, with very little traffic, and I wasn't worried about him being quite a ways ahead of me, however he glanced back and saw how far apart we were and came running back.
"I was scared" he said. Scared of being too far ahead of me. Scared of going the wrong direction, because he didn't know how to find his aunt's house.
"It's ok," I assured him, "if you start to go the wrong way I will call out to you to come back to the right way."
"But mom, what if I get too far away and I can't hear or see you?"
"Then I will come looking for you until I find you."
"But mom, what if I am so far away that you can't find me!?"

I thought of the broader life implications as I answered that one. Beyond the few blocks walk back to his aunt's house, I know there will be times in his life (as there all in all our lives) when he feels lost, when he wants or needs direction from someone else. I hope that I can be someone he trusts for that direction, but I also know that there will be times when I cannot be the one he turns to.
So what did I tell him?
I told him that most of the people he will meet in the world are good people. I told him that if he can't find me, and doesn't know what to do, that he can ask someone else and they will help him.
And I believe that that applies more broadly than just our walk home too. There are so many sources of direction (good direction) and help. Sometimes it may be a parent or teacher or neighbor, but sometimes it might also come from a stranger. I have been inspired and directed by things I've read that were written by people I certainly don't know personally, and yet they have affected my life in significant ways. Obviously, we can also find direction and inspiration directly from Deity.
It's nice to have someone to hold hands with. On the other hand, even when there is nobody close enough to hold hands, there is still always someone (or Someone) who can help you find the way.

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