Make Time to Explore In Life

“Beep. Beep!” The church van pulls up and one of my favorite drivers is on duty today. When I see him, I know we are in for an adventure. It is time to explore.

There was a different driver assigned every week and each offered unique excitement—from leaving a church member for taking too long to come out of their house to knocking off car side mirrors along narrow streets. Looking back, this particular driver taught me a lot more about life than I ever realized.

This weekend I had the pleasure of attending the moving-away party for my favorite driver and his wife. I knew in advance there was going to be a tribute portion of the event, so I prepared a few words to share with this amazing couple. Do you know how hard it is to capture everything you want to say about people you’ve known your entire life in TWO MINUTES!? Yes, we only had two minutes because the organizers did not want the event to last all night. And, to no one’s surprise, everyone spoke way over two minutes. Hilarious!

You are never lost.

Whenever he drove, I was a mixture of lost, confused, and very intrigued. He often took confusing turns and back roads to avoid lights and traffic. Yet, somehow we always managed to reach the next destination. With every turn, I was convinced we were lost and going to make it to church late. It was as if he had branded a map of the city in his head. No matter how lost I thought we were, we somehow magically appeared at our next destination. Whenever I felt we had taken too many turns to possibly be heading in the right direction, I whispered to someone to ask if we were lost. But, in the end, we were never lost.

At some point, I finally asked him how he knew all the backroads. His answer: he learned them by joy-riding through the city and intentionally traveling down streets to see where they lead. He would get lost on purpose and soon find a familiar street. And, it’s important to note that this was before GPS and cellphone maps. He got lost on purpose to explore and discover new routes.

As I got older, I recognized the link between his success, faith, and fearlessness—three essential factors of life. He is never afraid to explore the unknown in life because he has confidence that he is never truly lost. The only thing to gain is new lessons and new ways to arrive at a destination. He believes that there is always a way out and a way to get back home.

Reflection: What is out there waiting to be explored in your life? Why are you so afraid to go off script?

Personal story

I can recall the many times I was driving somewhere and wondered “what’s down that street.” When I have been willing to explore in life, I’ve discovered beautiful parks, neighborhoods, stores, restaurants, lakes, and shortcuts just by willingly getting lost.

Most recently, getting lost helped me discover something beautiful and peaceful near my new apartment—a beach.

I arrived extremely early for the apartment showing and parked across from the building. Slightly bored and curious, I decided to see what the neighborhood had to offer. To my surprise, I stumbled across a private beach, the ocean, and other wonderful places to explore. Honestly, the apartment alone didn’t sell me, but the neighborhood, water, views, and places to explore did. It taught me to trust God, and life, and to never be afraid to explore because you never know what is around the corner, literally.

Now, if I can apply this to my goals and dreams, I wonder what I will find.

The lesson:

  • Be willing to get lost in life. Take time to explore life because you never know what successes, shortcuts, and opportunities you will find around the corner.

  • Don’t panic if you find yourself on an unknown street. The worst that can happen is you retrace your steps, ask for directions, or keep going until you see something familiar.

Reflection: What do you need to make time to explore in your life?

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