Where are you right now?
It’s pretty easy to answer this question, right? I mean, worst case, you might need to look at a map or your phone to find the answer, but most of the time, you’re clearly aware of where you are at any given time during the day. Your internal navigation system keeps you centered and aware of where you are and where you’re going as you tend to the everyday affairs of life.
This is true of our location up close, tuned in to our specific whereabouts, but as we zoom out, the question becomes increasingly difficult to answer.
For instance, say you’re at work in Big City, USA. Where in earth’s rotation are you located? Where are you in earth’s orbit of the sun? What’s your location in the galaxy? Where are you … well, you get the idea.
As we zoom farther and farther out, our perceived location is less clear and less precise. The opposite is true when we go the other direction.
You’re still at work in Big City, USA. What’s your company’s street address? Where are you in the office? Where are you situated at your desk? Where are you in your relationship with your supervisor? Your coworkers? Your spouse and/or family? With God?
If we’re completely honest with ourselves, the deeper we go into our mind and heart, the clearer it becomes about where we are and where we’re headed. Even at our most challenging and confused moments, we know where our heart and mind are in this regard.
There’s a line in a Trans-Siberian Orchestra song that goes, “As you stand all alone at your station, what if God doesn’t know where you are?”
There’s a beautiful lesson in this concept. Though we may at times wonder if God is aware of us or if He even knows where we are, we can take solace in knowing that He is always aware of our location and the direction we’re headed. He knows the way home and is ready to show us the way.
When I was about six years old, my mother asked me to take the trash out. We lived in an apartment complex and the dumpster was about 50 yards down a driveway. When I got to the trash can, the cute neighbor girl was in the mood to talk. How could I resist? I couldn’t and I didn’t.
Fast forward a few seconds (20 minutes I soon found out) and as I walked back up the driveway at a leisurely pace, I saw my mom headed in my direction. Why’s she walking so fast? I wondered. Why’s she got The Paddle in her hand? I thought.
As my dear mother applied heat to my seat, she explained—rather animatedly—that my thoughtlessness caused her worry and anxiety about where I was and why I was taking so long to return.
I learned that day not to cause my mother further distress with my thoughtlessness (a lesson I seemed to have forgotten during adolescence). This experience further taught me that my mother was well aware of me, even though I had disregarded her thoughts and feelings.
And so it is with God. No matter where we are in relation to Him, or what we’re doing, He’s aware of us and wants us to return home. This is easier done if we know where we are and where we’re going. We accomplish this by zooming in closer, to the depths of our heart to assess its location in relation to God.
I ask again: Where are you right now?
As you answer the question this time, focus on your conditional location in relation to God, not your actual whereabouts.
As you allow your heart to grow closer to Him, your location and direction will not only become clearer, it’ll become surer.