5 Steps To Get Back On Track

When you get derailed,
how to you get back on track? 

It can happen so easily.
I can be cruising along, then one little thing distracts or disorients me
and I’m out of whack. 

Does that happen to you?
When you need
answers,
peace,
direction,
or purpose,
how do you get back on track?

Take exercising for example.
 

I don’t love it, but I know I need to do it.
I’ve taken up walking largely because most of my friends
want to move instead of sit
sipping coffee and munching on an exquisite pastry.
It’s very disappointing.
But I digress.

I’m walking. 
Walking as a serious form of exercise.

This is not strolling.
This is not wandering and wondering.
This is not taking time to smell the roses.

This means special shoes with squishy insoles
and a new bra.

I walk in the cemetery across the street from my house.
It’s close to home and indoor plumbing.

Recently, Mr. 4-Ever decided to join me.
(Mr. 4-Ever is my husband, Dave). 

As we clipped along the asphalt paths,
I drew his attention to cemetery points of interest.

Tombstones from the 1800’s.
Tiny markers for tiny babies.
Hot & Hunky’s headstone.
Hot & Hunky (Jay) was my husband
until he died of a heart attack at the age of 39.

“Where is Adventure Boy buried?” Mr. 4-Ever asked.
Adventure Boy (Craig) is the husband
after Hot & Hunky and before Mr. 4-Ever.

Adventure Boy (Craig) died in a plane crash.
It took weeks of searching
by the Civil Air Patrol,
Coast Guard,
State Police,
FAA, and
NASA
to find his crash site and when they finally did
I brought him home and buried him under
the bronzed tombstone with both our names on it.

“I’ll show you,” I panted
thankful for an excuse to rest
and reorient.

We walked
                 …and walked
                                       … and walked.

I couldn’t find the marker.
Disoriented in the maze of tombstones,
I couldn’t find him.

Just like when he’d disappeared.
He was missing again.

An anxious feeling welled up in me so
I took a cue from Civil Air Patrol search protocol
which is:

Get your bearings.
Ask others to help.
Design a search pattern.
Start the search from the last known sighting.
Keep looking till you find what you search for.

I paused, and prayed for God to quiet and calm me.
I asked Mr. 4-Ever to help me.
He got a cemetery plot map at the office.
We started from the entrance and
found the marker.

When your world seems out of sync.
When you lose your way
or your direction,
or your purpose,
or your passion,
take a page from the C.A.P. manual.

1.

Stop and get your bearings.

I know that when you’re so busy it feels like you’re reeling out of control,
taking time to stop and reflect seems counterintuitive.
But do it.

2.

Quiet yourself and ask God for guidance.
Call in reinforcements to help you.
Ask the Holy Spirit to guide and council you.
Ask friends and family.
Lean on experts and scholars.
Research possible solutions.

3.

Design your search pattern
starting from the last known place of peace or purpose.

Where was the last place you had what you search for?
When was the last time experienced what you search for?
Who was the last person who possessed what you search for?

4.

Implement your search.

Do you need to pray?
Do you need to go back to school?
Do you need to get out of a dangerous relationship?
Do you need a new job?
Do you a second opinion?
Do you need a new way of eating or exercising or scheduling?

5.

Keep looking till you find
your answer,
your peace,
your way,
your direction,
your purpose,
or your passion.

We all have moments or even seasons when
life is turned upside-down and sideways.

When you are disoriented and searching for balance,
follow the protocol that will steady and steer you.

With God’s help and the assistance of his people,
you’ll get back on track.

Prayer: God in Heaven, I’m so glad you can keep track of me when I have trouble keeping track of everything and anything. Lead me when I’m lost. Guide me when I’m confused. Highlight my path. Thank you in advance. Amen