Stinging Nettle TrailGetting Lost

Thoreau wrote that itís ďNot until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves.Ē  As a trail runner getting lost is a very real risk and if you read my Adventure Max Trail Report you know that I ended up off course. My Dad has told me about hikers in California who get lost because out on the trail itís easy to losing your bearings. When there is no major landmark to keep your eye on you could find yourself wandering aimlessly especially in the nondescript rolling hills of the desert.  Even if there is a big natural marker for you to sight often as you move away from that pointer you find yourself without a beacon to guide you.

Then there are the times when you chose the wrong path which is what happened to me when I found myself on the half marathon course instead of the 10K which was my intended race.  I made a wrong turn.  This isnít the first time Iíve made wrong turns, looking back I see relationships, jobs, and even habits that were all wrong turns. There have been times that I looked up and quickly realized my error, but other times Iíve stayed on a path of destruction for a long while.

Stinging Nettle trail flooded by Meramec riverRegardless of why Iíve been off course or lost there comes a time when I have seen the error of my way and realized I was somewhere I did not want to be.  The week after the Adventure Max race prior to the Quivering Quads half marathon I frequently battled fear. What if I got lost out in Cuiver River State Park? What if I made a wrong turn? What if I couldnít keep pace with the people in my wave and ended up alone on the trail, and then lost my way? What if I got so lost they had to send out a search and rescue team?  It went on and on, my own private battle in my headShaw Nature Reserve trail before the race even started.

During a time of desperate crisis in my life I was given some advice from my Pastor. He said that God would lead me little by little out of the pit where I had ended up. God would provide people along the way and he would guide me step by step out of the muck.  Getting lost in a crisis alone is terrifying, and often it is because we donít know which way to go. If we did we wouldnít be lost right?  Over and over the bible is filled with promises of God with us, assurances of God providing for us, comforting words of Godís unending love for us. Next time I look up and donít know where to go I am going to remember that I am not alone, and I will look to God my guide to lead me.

ďI will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.Ē Psalm 32:8