Until last weekend, I thought Siri could get me anywhere I needed to go. If I was unsure where an address was, I slid into the driver’s seat, stated my destination and waited for her monochromatic voice to tell me my next move.
That is, until my husband and I tried public transportation. On a weekend trip to D.C., we reasoned that driving anywhere would be difficult and expensive. Opting to take the metro, we parked thirty minutes outside the city and trusted a time-tested tool to direct us to the hotel: a map.
It turns out, if you don’t know which direction you’re going, maps don’t help out much. And if you’re unclear about your current location, they do even less good.
Thankfully, my husband and I are easygoing people when we’re on vacation and were able to laugh about the situation. We ran around stations all over the city, trying to figure out what we were doing and watching other tourists do the same.
But even while I was scurrying from one stop to the next, smiling and rekindling a connection with my love, my mind kept going back to the Paris attack. It had happened less than twenty-four hours before we left, and the news kept popping up at various places around the city.
In the hotel lobby.
In the art museum where our bags were searched.
In passing conversations, flitting in and out of earshot.
I knew this city was a likely target. As the train buzzed through tunnels underground, I thought how easy it would be for a suspect to hop onboard, undetected by anyone.
In a moving car flying down a track at over one hundred miles per hour, my thoughts raced with increasing speed considering all the possibilities. I had no map or compass to direct my endless brooding. It was scattered and aimless.
After spending the day touring various sites and snapping photos, we returned to the safe confines of our home. I pet the dogs and did laundry. And then I heard the news of a threat to D.C.
Immediately my thoughts became anxious again, until I remembered the map. I recalled our wandering and the need to find bearings.
I realized knowing our position made all the difference.
Until we define Christ as our starting point, all forward progress will be aimless. We can’t get anywhere worthwhile if we don’t know where our home is.
Everyday, we can turn on the news and see stories that make our hearts sick. And if we choose to dwell on the horror and evil of it all, we will begin questioning the One who doesn’t change.
In a world full of evil and corruption, he is still good.
In a city thick with chaos and confusion, he is steady and secure.
When we fix our eyes on the Author of our hope, our steps are sure because we know where they’re going.
But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble.
Psalm 59:16 NIV
We can keep singing because we know this world is not our home, and we can keep praying because we know the same God who spoke the planets into orbit hears each and every one. Mark your home base, friends. Draw an “x,” a circle, or whatever you have to do to remember.
And then know that no matter what, it can’t be moved.