Lost and found

I was alone in a foreign country, possibly lost, and miles from any help.

It all began when I traveled to Peru for a service trip with a group of friends. During the trip, we also had the opportunity to visit Machu Picchu.

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After a great morning exploring Machu Picchu, we began the hike back down to a town called Aguas Calientes. This was a rather long trek—about six miles total. During the initial descent, my group separated into two smaller groups to help everyone keep pace. I started in the faster group, but as they got farther and farther ahead of me, I realized that I was somewhere in between the two groups—alone. It was at this point that I started to become a little worried about my own ability to navigate, as there had already been multiple forks in the road. 

At first, I followed what seemed to be the best path—the one that clearly led down the mountain. However, once I got to the bottom of the initial descent, I had no idea where to go, because we hadn’t hiked up that way earlier in the day. I was totally alone, unsure if I was on the right path, and uncertain about what to do next.

I was totally alone, unsure if I was on the right path, and uncertain about what to do next.

Except, I wasn’t completely alone, because I’ve learned in the Christian Science Sunday School that God is everywhere, and I can never be separated from His love or His care. I’ve also learned that God is all-knowing and all-seeing, which reassured me, since I had nothing else to lean on. I realized that even though I had no idea what to do, I could listen for and trust God’s direction.

At first, I thought I should stay put. But then, I had another thought that nudged me to keep going. That felt like the better choice, so I continued on my way. I’m not much of a math person, but given the number of forks in the road, I’d guess that there was a very low probability that I could have chosen the right path on my own. So I was very grateful to know that I could rely completely on God. This total reliance on God was a first for me. Sure, I’ve grown up going to Sunday School. And I’ve had healings through trusting God, and other proofs of His care, so I always know God is there for me. But this was really the first time that I had no one and nothing else to lean on. While the series of choices I was guided to make might seem miraculous, it felt natural to me because of what I know about God as divine Mind. I truly felt directed by a divine, supreme intelligence.

I still had to deal with fear on and off. But every time I had doubts about whether I was being led the right way, I prayed with the idea that God’s direction was always there, and that I could always recognize God’s voice. 

I realized that even though I had no idea what to do, I could listen for and trust God’s direction.

When I reached Aguas Calientes, I realized that not only had I found my way to the right place, but I had also made it there before everyone else, including the group that had been ahead of me. While that might sound impossible, it turns out that the path I’d been directed to take wasn’t just the correct one; it was the perfect one. And everyone else in my group made it back safely, too.

In getting lost, I found something even better than the path back. I found I could trust God completely, and after this experience, I’m also much more inclined to turn to God first.

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