Are You Lost Or Merely Wandering?

6 May

“Not all those who wander are lost.”  ~ J.R.R. Tolkien

Do you know how many side roads there are in our neck of the woods?  I’ll tell you, there are a LOT of them.  So many of us may not know that because we isolate ourselves to the same two or three different ways to get anywhere.  When I was in high school and college, I had a good friend that liked to drive.  So did I.  So, often, when we decided to get together, instead of going to any particular place, we went for a drive.

Now, when I drove, I always took a straight shot from one place to another.  When he drove, we took every side street you could imagine and perhaps even a few you couldn’t imagine.  Really.  I couldn’t believe some of the places we drove and some of the things we saw.  Going on all the side streets, I saw things that I never would have seen staying to the main drags.  It was really eye-opening and exciting.

There are many ways to get to where we are going.  Just ask your friendly GPS.  If you make a wrong turn somewhere, it “recalculates” and gives you another direction to get to where you needed to be.  No muss, no fuss.

Why, then, do we often approach our faith with a “one size fits all” mentality?  We often think that everyone should pray the same way or everyone should minister the same way or everyone should volunteer for the same activities.  If someone doesn’t do what we think, they are “wrong”. It just doesn’t work that way.

Remember, Jesus came on the scene and did things differently.  Instead of opening their eyes to a new way, many people closed their hearts to Jesus and what He was saying and doing.  We need to keep open to God, His call, and His will. It often comes from many directions and takes us down many paths.

If we see someone doing something in the faith that we have never done, we should not assume they are wrong.  Rather, we should entertain the possibility of joining them and learning something new.  I learned in high school, driving around with my friend, that wandering doesn’t always get us lost.  Sometimes, wandering opens up whole new experiences and opportunities to enjoy the life that is around us.

FAITH ACTION:  Go off the beaten path today in your prayer life.  If you generally pray the rosary, read a prayer book.  If you read a prayer book, spend time in contemplation.  As you do something different, let the Lord speak to you in the experience.