Lost was a popular American television drama series that originally aired on ABC from September 22, 2004, to May 23, 2010. During its sixth and final season, the show averaged over 11 million U.S. viewers per episode. I never watched Lost… but there have been occasions where I’ve felt lost. Let me share a recent example.
Earlier this month, Laura and I were privileged to conduct leadership conferences in Germany and Switzerland. It was an honor to pour into the lives of the leaders who attended. Our first trip to Europe was filled with new experiences – German bread for breakfast; cake and coffee at 4:00 PM daily; riding so many trains we lost count; and getting on the wrong train during on the last leg of our trip to the Frankfurt airport.
By the time we realized we’d hopped on the wrong train… it was too late to do anything about it. There we were – two Americans who spoke no German, heading for a destination we didn’t know, in a country we’d never been in before. To say we felt some anxiety would be an understatement. Fortunately we found a young lady on the train who spoke English, and were relieved to find out we could catch another train from our unknown destination to the airport.
Obviously, feeling lost isn’t reserved to traveling. You can feel lost when a friend betrays you. When you lose your job. When a person you love dies. When life takes an unexpected turn. The question isn’t whether or not you’ll feel lost at some point in your life. The question is—what do you do when it happens? You can:
Thoughts like “I will be stuck in Germany forever” can flood your mind you’re lost. When a relationship goes sour, or your boss shows you the door, or someone special goes home to be with Jesus, panic has the uncanny ability to worm its way into your head. “I’ll never recover from this” or “How will I get through this?” or “My life is over” are phrases that may attack your thoughts. Needless to say, panic is not your best option.
I know it may sound trite and cliché-ish – but firing up a prayer or two when you feel lost is a good move. God wasn’t surprised by our train faux pas. He wasn’t panicked about it. When you feel lost, talking to the most stable Person in the universe is both therapeutic and strategic. If you belong to Him, knowing He is with you during those lost moments of life brings reassurance. Prayer is a great option when you feel lost.
When you feel lost, avoid the temptation to handle it on your own. Instead, be a pest. It’s okay to pester others and ask for their help. Our anxiety level decreased significantly once we found an English-speaking person on the train. She made sure we exited at the right stop and reassured us we would find our way to the airport. When life throws you a curveball, instead of trying to solve it entirely on your own… be a pest. Humble yourself and ask others who are qualified to help you.
Panic… pray… pester. If you feel lost, I hope you choose the last two options.