Years ago, I worked with a wonderful man named Paul Newland. He was the ad salesman for The Message, and he lived in the town of Washington.
One day, he suggested that I do a story about an old Catholic cemetery that was located in his neck of the woods. I thought that sounded like a great idea; and one grey winter morning, I headed up Indiana Highway 57.
It took me a while, but I finally found the spot that he was talking about. It was off of a gravel road tucked behind a large grove of tall trees.
I wandered around it for a while, making a few notes about the last names of the people who were buried there, and then I took some photos of the headstones.
When I got back into my car, I realized that I had NO idea where I was!
I did know that west was straight ahead of my car’s dashboard, and that south was on my left. I remember thinking that if I went west far enough I would hit the Wabash River, and if I kept going south I could eventually swim in the Ohio River. I decided to zigzag south and then west, and then south and west again until I finally connected with a familiar highway.
And the entire time that I was lost? I was laughing.
I wasn’t familiar with the famous “Laughing Jesus” artwork by Christian artist Ralph Kozak back then, but I have a feeling that Jesus was right with me that morning as I drove through unfamiliar territory. And I bet He was laughing.
More recently, I had to be in rural Henderson for a meeting. It was the week when the Ohio River had treacherously overrun its banks, and there was water everywhere.
My driving instructions were clear and ended with the words, “Ignore the road closed sign.”
I followed directions, and when I came to a four-way stop, I paid no attention to the “road closed” sign as I made a left.
That’s when things got dicey. As I drove around each curve, I prepared myself for possible flooding. I slowed as I drove down each hill, not sure what I would find. A street filled with water? Heavy flooding? Ducks swimming on the road?
In every valley, I found nothing unusual. Just more of the country road.
Even so, I found myself holding my breath as I drove.
After about 10 minutes, I descended one last hill, came to an intersection, and immediately spotted the driveway I was looking for. Twenty feet past the driveway was a “road closed” sign, placed there because of high water.
I exhaled a deep breath, and pulled into the driveway.
I was safe. I had listened to a trusted voice.
When we are lost, what do we do? Do we laugh because we know that Jesus is at our side?
Do we listen to those who know more than we do?
Sometimes, we think we are lost, but we are not.
In moments of uncertainly, we need to be certain of one thing: God always knows exactly where we are!