I’ve learned that I normally get lost when I go to a new church. Even though I have directions on my phone.
This happens for various reasons. I don’t understand the “in 100 yards turn right, then turn right” logic of my electronic advisor – “I just turned right!” Or I know how to go 9/10 of the way and when I get to the part where I need the GPS, it can’t find my location, and I have to go ask the lady in the convenience store. Or, the GPS is working fine, but I don’t see that what I am supposed to do is bear right, RIGHT, at that intersection that honestly doesn’t look like a real intersection, because yes, THAT is the place to “go straight to continue on Main Street.” Etc.
But it is easy to get lost in and around churches, too. Not usually for very long, in a small building. But it’s typical to need to walk entirely around the building to find the one door that’s not locked, which isn’t always the “front” door. And then, to need to wander around a bit to get a map of the relationship of the office to the sanctuary. Some churches have doors that will put a person right onto the chancel if they open them, which can sometimes make a person’s lostness way too visible.
Getting lost isn’t just about space, though. It’s easy enough to get lost in worship, somewhere in the order of events. People lose their place in the bulletin, or the Bible, or the prayer of confession, or the hymnal.
To say nothing of being lost in thought. Or grief. Or wonder. Or …
There are a lot of ways to be lost.
Hopefully, also, to find the way again, or our place. Or to be found. Maybe the same thing, in the end.
Images: “Red leaf on black gum,” by me, July 24, 2022, public domain. This particular tree, at least since 1994, always has a few leaves that turn bright red in late summer – the last week of July, usually, or the first week of August. “Fall is coming.”