Thursday, March 24, 2016

Lost In the Woods

Lost In The Woods
I used to run a wonderful youth aid outreach called YASO.  The teens and young adults sometimes compared me to Captain Mal Reynolds. Highly encouraging for the ego, I assure you. Anyway, one time some of us in the leadership were discussing a serious issue. I stepped away for a cigarette because I was tense. As I walked back in I heard one young man say,"We're lost in the woods, even Pat." My co leader, Dana, said, "The only difference is, he likes it that way."  I walked in and said, "The only difference is the woods are the only place I can see a clear path."

It used to be true. Being lost with a dash of danger used to be exhilarating for me. There was the challenge to find my way out. In real life that has been out of the woods, back to shore, out of a bad neighborhood, toward the light and even in some caverns once. In emotional life I have been lost in life situations not knowing what to do or where to go. 

These days it is less exhilarating, but I am usually calm because I have been lost before and I have made it out every time. There are times where I get paralyzed with fear and I freeze up, we all do. There are times where the body or the soul hurts and has been so injured I am not sure I can press on, but I do anyway. Survival demands it. 

Patience, getting your bearings and perseverance among many other factors will get you out of it. 

For me, this picture of a German hut visible through the forest represents that moment that you know you have found your path. There is that moment of relief and victory rolled up into one. Regardless of how weary and broken you may be, that moment of realization energizes you and that next step that once seemed impossible takes on a new determination along with the confidence that you are going to make it. 

You may not know exactly where you are or where you need to go, but you know that you are no longer lost in the woods or in the dark or any other such thing. You are free of it. That moment is wondrous. 

If you are lost, keep going, stay calm and stay safe. You'll find your hut and your path.

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