Make known to me your ways, LORD;
Teach me your paths.
Guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my savior.
It’s no secret in the Heffron family
that I was born with an appalling
lack of direction—a gene that I, with
all due respect, inherited from my
mother. Quite the opposite, my father
and sister have an uncanny sense of
where they are headed: They could find
a needle in a haystack. It would be a
miracle if Mom and I could find the
Maps, for me, are like antiquated
formulas. Driving directions, if not
broken down into the simplest forms,
are like riddles. Being lost, in the literal
sense, has become a sort of pastime for
me. Often I find myself, to quote the
great Robert Frost, taking “the road
less traveled,” but it’s almost always by
When it hits me that I am hopelessly
lost, on the road or in my life,
I am reminded of a passage in the
psalms that has taught me to abandon
my fears and sometimes enjoy not
knowing where I am going. Psalm 25
gives me a reason to celebrate being
a little off-course.
Guided by Faith
It wasn’t always easy to appreciate the
pleasure of being lost. Psalm 25 in
many ways reminds me of when at the
age of five I wandered from my father
in a department store. Panicked and
terrified, I was, in a cruel instant, alone—and scared.
Finding my dad a few minutes later
was a heaven-sent relief, but it was in
being lost that I really learned something.
That’s why I like Psalm 25. It
isn’t about finding my way. It’s about
not knowing where I’m going. It’s
about letting go and allowing my faith
to guide me.
This isn’t always easy. I rely heavily
on what my eyes can show me. Many
times I feel five years old again—panicked and out of sorts.
I have often wandered from God in
life’s great big department store, looking
for toys or candy. Psalm 25, with
the phrase “teach me your paths,”
reminds me that I still have a ways to
go in the journey.
“Guide me in your truth and teach
me” shows that an eagerness to learn
the path is normal and perhaps even
encouraged, but that I will be no wiser
for knowing what lies ahead. God, ever
watchful, will not mislead me. Rarely
do I know where I’m going in this life
and that’s O.K. Ignorance has never
been this blissful.
I’ve always loved a good mystery.
There’s a sense of adventure in not
always knowing what’s in store for me.
Life didn’t provide a book of instructions
or a handy manual to carry in
my pocket. I’ll slip. I’ll fail. And I will
begin again with hopeful eyes watching
the skies. God will surely be looking
back at me.
I will travel a great many roads in
this beautiful but convoluted life. Without
a dependable sense of direction, I
know it’s a given that I will be navigating
strange towns and unfamiliar
streets, poring over maps that will never
make much sense to me. I won’t have
a clue where I am.
Sooner rather than later, I’ll be driving
in my car and realize that I am,
once again, lost. With a willing heart
and a calm mind, all I can say is, “God,
I hope so.”
Next: Psalm 27:4