We had no idea where we were or how long it would take us to get back.
Heather and I were on our honeymoon on Mackinaw Island in Michigan. We had seen much of the tourist stuff and were in need of something that wasn’t just shops, and forts, and salt water taffy. We decided it would be fun just to pick a trail and start walking. Who knows what we might find?
We did indeed see some pretty amazing sites. Arch Rock is beautiful. If you’ve never seen it, you should. The weather was great and Heather and I were having a wonderful time.
At some point along the way we decided to take a turn off the trail. It’s been a few years so my memory isn’t super clear on how it happened. More than likely, something caught Heather’s eye and she wanted to get closer to see it better. That’s how these adventures work with us. I’m the guy that loves a good plan. She’s like “Plan? What’s a plan?” I want to know what we’re getting ourselves into before we start something. She’s like “Oh look! Let’s go over there!”
I love her with my whole heart. For real.
So we went “off the trail” that day. We saw the wonders of nature. Trees and grasses of the most brilliant green and the deepest brown. We breathed deep of the clean lake air. Magnificent horses just happened to cross our path. We saw things that we never would have if we had stayed on the path. God truly showed us beauty all along the way.
After some time we happened to stop for a second, taking a break from our hike. We looked around, and realized we had no idea where we were. We’d been having such a good time, seeing so many wonderful sights that we completely lost track of where we were walking.
The end result of that one decision to leave the trail was that we were lost, had no idea where we were, or how to get back.
Being lost can be scary. When you’re in a strange part of town, all by yourself, being lost is probably not what you really want to be.
On the other hand, sometimes the best adventures happen when you’re lost. Sometimes being lost brings you joy. Sometimes you miss out on the fun and the thrill of an adventure by playing it safe and not trying anything that would take you off the trail.
The path is safe. The path is steady. There are no surprises on the path. Oh, but off the path…so many things await those who dare to venture forth.
I probably would have stuck to the trail. That’s my tendency. I would have done what the “rules” told me to do. There’s a trail … you should follow it. I would have seen some beautiful things, to be sure. But I would have completely missed out on the adventure. I would have missed all that God wanted to show me that day.
I reminded you last week that you only get one shot at this life. Don’t miss out on some of the best parts of your life because you’re so busy playing by the rules. It’s okay to get lost. To not know what you’re supposed to do. To try things and fail. It’s all part of the adventure. Don’t be so stuck to your rules that you miss it.
On the other hand, there is also great relief in being found. In knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that you were meant to do a thing. In discovering who you are and where you’re going. In no longer being lost.
We eventually found our way back to where we needed to be. We figured that since Mackinac Island was, you know, an island, that we would eventually find our way to either where we were supposed to be or we’d hit water (from which we could find our way around the island). It all worked out in the end. That was a great feeling.
But wow, what a fun adventure.