I pull off the highway into an archway of blazing orange and shocking yellow over a narrow road that has needed pothole assistance for years. The traffic had been dwindling for miles before I got to the spot I turned as the busy retail stores and congested subdivisions don’t dare to sprawl out this far. Framing the horizon is a watercolor canvas of fall leaves and rolling hills. Most people get lost on these roads and worried of the lack of plumbing facilities, but this is where I always find myself.
I’m on my way to a friend’s house, but I crane my neck back and forth as I navigate the narrow and bending road looking at the “nothingness” of the countryside. A small and modest herd of black cows graze passively on the fading green grass. A couple of donkeys munch enthusiastically on a new roll of hay their owner spoiled them with.
Then I see it and pull over with my phone in my hand. I manipulate the camera app open at the same time I manipulate the seat belt off and pounce from the car. These moments are always fleeting and experience has taught me to move quickly.
The sun is almost perfectly cradled between two hills and the clouds are beginning to blaze with the fire of a sunset. As I aim my camera to line up the shot and wait for the perfect moment that the colors surge, I notice the way it all works in unison like it’s planned.
I chastise myself a little about forgetting that each second is planned and I am merely a witness to what is already designed.
Reds, Pinks and Purples hang in the clouds as they shift through the sky forming shapes that morph from dragons to puppies.
I whisper “Thank you God” and before I can pre-plan the next words, “I miss you” tumbles from my lips and breaks my heart.
It’s a constant battle with me. Lost and found and lost again. Moments of rock hard faith and then a splinter of doubt will creep in. Every now and then I miss Him as though He has disappeared from my life when the hiccups of Life take over. Moments I get so caught up in dissecting “Who,” “What,” and “Where” He is. Sometimes I wonder if He is as disappointed in my flip-flop heart as I am.
As I get back in my car and review the pictures I’ve just taken, I revisit my despair in missing God. How can I get to a place where I miss Him? Isn’t He always there?
Many times as I get caught up in what people are doing in the world around me, I lose focus on what God is doing in the world around me. Isn’t it more likely that people are pushing Him away and denying His power, rather than Him being absent from all the ugly moments?
My world is trying to define “Who” God is and point out “Where” He is not. Daily I am surrounded by those who believe in no god of any kind and they have plenty of legitimate reasons to prove we are just a force of our own. Unplanned and unpredicted, with nothing but today to live for.
My brain wants to put Him in a little defined box so I can take comfort in the fact that I can’t understand all of it. Not knowing the answers to His reasons is what scares me the most and makes me feel so small and distant. It’s what causes me to whisper “I miss you” to The One” who never moved.
So I stare at the dwindling sunset one more time. The colors fading into the deep purple right before the blackness of night blankets the sky. A few stars begin to vaguely appear where it is getting darkest. The North Star is the only one big enough to twinkle. The star that for centuries has guided people in the right direction. The star that has never moved. I never have missed it because I have always been able to depend on it being there.
Isn’t He the same?
The One that has guided people in the right direction? The One that has never moved?
I close my eyes and tell Him “I’m sorry. I got lost again.” A warmth takes over as I realize I was found again.