Swamp Rabbit Trail in Greenville, S.C. was a new discovery for us last weekend. My friends, Tish and Leslie, bike all over the world and may know about this 13.5 mile stretch along the Reedy River connecting Greenville to Travelers Rest. I want to ride it one day!
In a Southern Living reference to the delightful trail, one sentence stood out: "It's hard to get lost."*
Getting lost....A memory surged forward when looking back.
As a child, I rode bikes with my friend, Gina, who lived in what was known as New Town, a grid of maybe four streets criss-crossed by four or five perpendicular streets creating a modern neighborhood in the 1940's - 50's of our small town. New Town offered smooth asphalt roads with no painted lines needed and little traffic--a biker's paradise to me back then. I lived on a highway and enjoyed the security of riding in a neighborhood.
I loved to get lost in New Town. We would ride for what seemed like hours over the same little streets until I found myself unable to know the way home to Gina's. (So maybe I've always been a little risk-averse. The race car-driving/plane-flying gene did an end run around me, I confess.) There was some amusing delight in being lost-but-not-really.
Gina knew her neighborhood, and I was never really lost when riding with her.
I have learned that whether biking or living, we can be lost while still very close to home.
We can lose our way in our relationships. We can lose our bearings and get turned around in a direction we never intended to go. We can live in lost-ness and not even be aware of it. No one is immune from the perils of the human condition.
Rather than judge harshly with condemnation when others take what appears to be a wrong turn, what if we strode up alongside and offered a way out of and through the confusing grid life presents to us?
When we are in the midst of a maze, we cannot see clearly. We need the company of one who knows the neighborhood. One who has been around the block before, so to speak. And one who is at home facing the challenges and frailties life offers.
And when we are the little lost ones, let us remember that we are never really alone. We may feel alone, but we are not alone. There is One who desires to be our guide, to offer direction, to redeem the anxiety and panic we experience when we've lost our way, and to set our feet on solid ground when the wheels stop spinning.
The LORD says, "I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you." Psalm 32:8 NLT
There is something beautiful in that trail to Travelers Rest....and something peaceful and satisfying in reaching the destination in the company of fellow companions on the journey of life!