I love to get lost...well, sort of. Really, I just love to skip the left turn into my neighborhood some afternoons and just keep going, and somedays...I get lost. There's always an element of anticipation, and perhaps fear that takes the passenger seat whenever I venture past the city limit signs and find myself in a place I've never been. There have been times I knew I should probably turn around...(this is Montgomery, you know) Other times, I have found places I like to believe are places only I know. The days I get lost in thought and possibility and the spontaneity of the "shuffle" setting on my iPhone and end up in some place where the Maps App becomes necessary are quite simply...the best.
On busier days, I may journey only as far as the loop that runs around my neighborhood - what I called in my younger days, "the long way home". Somedays at just the right moment, I may catch the sun before it sinks to sleep behind the trees at the lake in the back of my neighborhood to remind me that ah yes, this is my favorite part of the day. Sometimes, I may see a flock of birds I can't identify take flight or a little boy and his dad fishing. It may be that simple, but it's always a surprise. I've found you never know what snapshot of grace or what moment of wonder and awe (even in the small things) you may experience when you take the long way home.
That's how this life is. We are indeed taking the long way home. It's always a surprise. Always nudging us to our final destination. Step by step, stride by stride. We never really have clarity, but we can have the one thing that keeps us walking and looking up - trust in the God who is leading. And there is inside my heart the same anticipation that accompanies this "journey" as well. During the last 6 months I have felt something new, something deeper. There is a longing in my soul I first attributed to something I had yet to find, but with the help of Romans 8 and C.S. Lewis, the Holy Spirit helped me identify this longing as none other than what Lewis called the "inconsolable longing". It's the product of what happens when we find God- really find Him and rest in Him...his glory, his goodness, his love his mercy...and can't get enough - all on the long way home.