Saturday, May 19, 2018

S.O.S.

I came across this quote this morning and just had to share it with you: "It is an ironic habit of human beings to run faster when we have lost our way." (Rollo May, Psychologist) While I don't subscribe to many of the beliefs of existential psychology, this thought just captured my attention because of the simple observation May made about us 'running faster'. Those who have lost their way often are like little gerbils in the proverbial wheel - running, running, running. All the while, they are getting absolutely nowhere. It doesn't matter how fast we run - we are still lost! The more we run, the deeper into the place of 'being lost' we find ourselves. Sometimes the best thing we can do is just to sit down, admit we are lost, and prepare to be rescued!

God rescues good men from danger while letting the wicked fall into it. (Proverbs 11:8 NLB)

In situations of survival, one of the things they teach you is not to wander from where you find yourself at the point of 'being lost'. The more you wander, the harder it will be for you to be found! The more you wander, the deeper into 'lost-ness' you actually become. To be rescued, one has to stop long enough to prepare the signs that they need to be rescued. For example, they tell you to gather kindling and wood to be ready to start a fire to alert search planes of your location, or place a bunch of driftwood or stones together to spell out SOS so it can be seen from above. You find something shiny, like a piece of glass or a mirror to signal using the sun's light to reflect your location. You 'do' something, but it doesn't involve running!

The 'running' comes when we realize we are not where we are supposed to be - we panic and we want a quick way out of where it is we find ourselves. We run because we are scared - we are not excited about where it is we find ourselves at the moment. The place isn't 'right' for us and this causes an emotional response of 'panic' - that sudden, overwhelming fear that causes us to do things that would otherwise be considered irrational. Panic has a way of getting us into circumstances that aren't going to make things better - they are just going to compound the issues we face! I had three cats at one time and when one would get startled, jump and run - all of them would. They had no clue why they were running - they just panicked because the first cat was running!

We have a tendency to 'run' with a sense of panic because we see others running. This might be fine in nature when the gazelle is attempting to escape the lion pride on the hunt for their next meal, but it isn't going to cut it in our day-to-day actions as humans. We might experience overwhelming fear on occasion, but running from that place of fear doesn't usually deal with what it is we feared in the first place. It just gets us very, very tired! Did you ever stop to consider why the SOS signal is placed on the beach or the fire is lit to signal one's whereabouts? It is because rescue oftentimes comes 'from above'. While rescue is possible from the ground level - the line of sight is much greater when it is from above. This is why they use search planes and helicopters to attempt to find lost hikers and downed wreckage of crashed planes. 

The view from above has a different perspective of what is below. In life, our rescue isn't so much on the same parallel plane on which we 'got lost' in the first place - it is from above! We need to not run away from our 'lost-ness', but admit it, prepare for rescue, and be alert to our coming rescuer! Those who are rescued the quickest are those who don't run away from the place of their first discovering they are lost! Just sayin!