My mother had given me a dime to go get some candy. Back then a dime could fill my pockets with all kinds of sweat treats that were not common for me to have. I was four years old and we had just moved into the rent house in this very small city. My mom guided me to the alley that led from the house to the corner store. The alley separated the football field which was in our backyard and the Jr. High/High School. In distance it was probably about 60 yards to the store. To me, it seemed like a mile.
I was able to find my way to the store. The thought of something soft and gooey wrapped in plastic was causing my heart to beat fast. This truly was special and I felt it all through my body. With my head down, focusing on the five items in my hand, I walked out of the store and started home. Suddenly, my excitement turned to panic when I took my gaze off my candy and looked for home. I was lost! I was totally turned around and did not know which way to go. Nothing looked familiar. The joy of the moment had been wiped away.
Along the way to the store, I had been so focused on the promise of a treat, I had forgotten to prepare for the return trip; the complete journey. I found a curb, sat down, and started crying. Even then I was not a person to run around with my head cut off, and knew enough to just be still and sit.
I heard a bell ring from the nearby school. Unaware to me, a young girl came out of the building and saw me quietly weeping on the curb. She sat down beside me and tried to comfort me. She recognized me as the little boy who just moved in down the street from her. She encouraged me to hold her hand and she walked me down the same alley that I had traveled just a few minutes earlier. I never looked up to see her face, but her comforting words and voice were all I needed to trust her.
Thousands of dollars had been spent on the wedding. All aspects of the wedding went beautifully. The couple walks out the door of the church excited about what is before them. As time goes on, they pop their heads out of the clouds only to discover that they are a little lost. The new territory can be frightening and disillusion may set in. They may find themselves wondering where their joy went and if they could ever find it again. They had spent all their time and money preparing for the wedding and little for the journey of the marriage.
Sometimes, marriages that are lost, just need a kind, understanding and compassionate hand. That couple whom you admire, the wise pastor or the trained therapist. Sometimes it is just being still and listening for God's comforting words and peace. It is not weak to admit you are lost. It is only weak not to ask for directions (BTW- I'm not talking to fellow men about our driving. That's totally different ;) )
I made it home safe and sound. It was a significant event in my life that led me to not only focus on the treats that come along my journeys, but also to be prepared for detours and distractions. I know I can always count on these kind of challenges. But I find it comforting that I'm not alone. There is help if I just am able to be still, reach up, and grasp a kind and comforting hand. They are usually very close.