Texas has been a state of quiet the past week. Today the temperatures crept above freezing, the snow crept slowly back toward the shadows, and traffic crept along slowly on every highway. Even I crept, with my New York plates and head knowledge of how to handle the slush and a two-wheel drive car. We are so puffed up with can-do when the elements are right, when the rug is pulled out from beneath though, we crumble under the unknown.
I've been thinking about fear a lot recently. The melting pot of life I'm in right now has the right ingredients for thoughts like these. People moving away, spring love springing forth, new jobs, friends suffering under the weight of sin and their own nature, we are faced with an opportune fear in every direction.
Even if we feel invincible, we can bet that there are circumstances that make us so. Pull those circumstances away and the fear bounds in.
For the entirety of my Christian life, I have viewed life like a maze, a choose your own adventure story. Which way should we go? Which is the right? Which will keep us safest? Happiest? Most successful? Most complete? Most humble? Pick your superlative and then choose your direction, and don't be surprised if you come to a dead-end---turn around and try another way. The concept that God was sovereign tickled my fancy, but never settled fully in my heart: what about my responsibility in it all?
This week I've been thinking about labyrinths, that ancient tradition of what is not a maze at all, but instead of a meditative walk in every direction with no dead-ends. The circumstances are such that you cannot make a wrong turn. You are intended for God's glory and your good--you enter in one way, walk one way, and leave one way. You cannot get lost because He cannot lose you.
I feel like that a lot this past few months, a certain confidence rises in me when I hear people talking about choices or when I think of my own. I think: I cannot get lost. I cannot. The circumstances might seem hopeless and this path I walk along might seem eternal, but I am not forgotten and I am not lost.
When my spirit faints within me,
you know my way. Psalm 142.3