Finding Your Way
Getting lost on the road, and in life
What do you do when you get lost?
Do you ask for directions? Buy a map? Grab your compass and start looking for which side of the tree the moss is growing on? Look to the stars?
Back in the day, there was no gps. There were no cellphones or satellites transmitting driving directions to our cars.
We had maps.
I remember the map books that sat on floor in the back seat of my car. I had an old beat up atlas of the US with highlighted routs I took driving cross country. And for each state I lived in, I had a DeLorme atlas.
Those atlases were crazy big, like 11” x 15” big. And they told you everything! I could find hiking trails, kayak launches, national and local landmarks to explore. I’ve mentioned before my love of adventure and exploring. These maps were a treasure for me!
Life has all sorts of maps available to us.
Some people use religious scripture to navigate through life. Others use knowledge and intellectual pursuits. And others use esoteric and metaphysical guides.
Wherever you draw meaning and however you find a means to understand yourself and improve your journey through life is a useful map for you.
I have found direction in each of those methods at different points in my life.
Early in life, I found comfort and peace in scriptures. There was a supportive community to guide me and provide a comfort zone as I blindly navigated raising my young family. But I grew to have many questions and needed more trial and error type of learning. Faith wasn’t enough and I needed to know more. And I began my pursuit of knowledge to find meaning.
I amassed many shelves and boxes of books (this was pre- and early-internet so there was no Google). Bookstores and libraries were my go-to research facilities, as were live and recorded lectures and courses. The quest for knowledge in one area led to another and another. All giving me additional hints to my purpose and reason for being here and a map of sorts to where I was supposed to be going.
Just as I kept my atlas of the US while also using my DeLorme books (as well as AAA Triptiks and various other street maps), I also still keep various life maps handy. Each has different gifts to offer and each is used in different ways.
When I’m driving, I learned that there’s not just one road from point A to point B. I have a normal, comfortable, efficient route, and I also have my alternate routes in case of train crossing delays or car accidents.
As I’m navigating through life, I have my go to tools for finding my way, and I still keep the others handy for deeper understanding, contemplation, and support when needed. I have bibles and devotionals, spiritual texts and metaphysical tools. Each offers a sense of support and invitation to explore. Each offers as many answers as it does new questions.
Religious, spiritual, scientific, and metaphysical guides all have a place and offer a different perspective on getting lost and found and searching for new directions. None of them is the one-right-way, and none can work alone.
What are your primary maps and guides for navigating life? I’d love to hear what works for you, and how that’s changed over the years.
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