It started out a beautiful day. My family had decided to take a trip out west to visit a dude ranch, for our summer vacation. I was seven years old, and that morning I arose eager with anticipation as I took hold of my cowboy boots and hat and headed out for the horse coral. Our wranglers name that year was Howdy; he was tall, handsome and rugged, like a true grit cowboy should be; his job was to lead out the children into the wilderness for a horseback ride, the first one of the season.
So off we went, all 12 of us, ready for a great western adventure, leading us deep into a remote part of the Rocky Mountains.
We started off at 8:00am, the ride was only scheduled for 2 hours, so we didn’t pack any provisions. It was around 11:00am, and Howdy had been taking us over a mountain pass and down into a ravine, when something just didn’t feel right. Suddenly, our wrangler confessed – he was LOST. Somehow, the landscape over the winter had changed drastically and he couldn’t find his way. He told us to dismount our horses; this wasn’t an easy task, considering we were on a narrow pathway on the edge of a steep ravine. Some of the children began to cry. The next command our wrangler gave sent a tinge of fear down most of our spines. “Tie the reins loosely around the horn of your saddle, and on the count of five, hit your horse on the behind and say with a loud voice – YA”.
Howdy was under the impression that the horses would know the way back to the ranch. So the point was, he would let his horse go first, and the others would reasonalby follow – showing us the way back to the ranch. It was a good theory, but it didn’t work. When we let go of the horses they ran all different directions and scattered away from us. Now, we were just 12 kids and a wrangler stuck out in the wilderness alone without any horses.
Long story short, a few scary hours ensured which resulted in some scratches and bruises, a lot of crying and some very hungry cow pokes. A search party was sent out and we finally made it back to the ranch around 9:00pm. The fact is – it’s no fun being lost.
Sometimes in life we just lose the trail. This is also true in our spiritual walk with The Lord. We may seem to be going through the motions of life but there is no joy and peace. Suddenly, we find ourselves in the valley, confused and discouraged. What happened? How did we get here? Maybe we pull out the compass or try to retrace our steps, but ultimately we just end up spinning our wheels in the mud.
Perhaps you’ve been in this place too or your going through it now. Know that your not alone. As a Christian we can be assured that God meets us where we are and not where we should be. Get back into a Bible based Church and put yourself under authority. Start asking questions about how to get involved. Spend time with God daily in prayer and Bible study and do what you can to make connections with people in the church; perhaps this means joining a small group.
It may be that you just need to start back with the basics. “Planted in the house of the LORD, They will flourish in the courts of our God.…,” (Proverbs 92:13).