searching for a way out of the woods

Are you praying and reading through our weekly liturgy? Don’t forget this week, the 6th of the Easter season.

Last weekend I went on a turkey hunt with my wife’s side of the family out in east Texas. This was a special hunt arranged through the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to hunt eastern turkey. What was unique about this hunt was only five of us were drawn for the hunt on a piece of land that was almost 10,000 acres! Also we were told if we saw anyone else on the land we would need to contact the game warden or the sheriff because we were to be the only ones out there.

That is a lot of land to cover for five people!

So, we set out looking for the turkey. You can only imagine the overwhelming nature of trying to find a small flock of turkey in such a big area. I set out down a path trying to be as quiet as possible. I listened and watched. Then I was frustrated. Nothing at all.

At this time I made a decision. I figured if I was to be successful, I would need to work hard to find the turkey. My choice was clear: go into the woods! I turned south and headed into the thickest, most dense part of the wood I could find. On my paper map it showed a sizable creek south of my location. I figured I could just find it by walking in that direction.

deep woods

I couldn’t have been more wrong.

In fact, I found myself a little lost. What I discovered is how difficult it is to walk a straight line in the woods. Everything starts looking the same. Any sense of direction becomes meaningless.

Finally, I was able to get a faint cell signal to gain a GPS point on my phone to get my bearings. It turns out after walking a couple of hours, I had looped around to where I originally started. I was no closer to the creek than when I began!

And, to be honest I got a little nervous. As someone who prides himself on never getting lost, I was truly lost. Without the help of my GPS, I might still be out there. To be truly lost and out of control is a frightening feeling.

When we talk about the Holy Spirit, I think about how Jesus called him a guide, a counselor, an advocate. While I make no claims on understanding the Holy Spirit’s work, I am truly comforted by the fact that the Spirit surrounds us.

The Spirit seems to be misunderstood and likely abused by some for power, but what is undeniable is the power of knowing we are not alone.

You see, we serve a God on a mission to reconcile humanity to himself. God is for us. He is with us.

We are never alone. In a confusing world, it is easy to get a little lost. But, in some way that I cannot explain or understand, the Spirit intercedes. Like a gentle shepherd guides, the Spirit whispers truth and direction in our most difficult moments.

Really, I can’t explain it. But I do know what it feels like to be lost and know the relief of being found.

Quiet yourself today and listen. See the work of the Spirit around you. Ask for guidance and trust in what you hear.

There is a way out of the woods.

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