Thanksgiving morning the clouds threatened snow but no moisture dropped yet. The temperature hovered in the mid-thirties (Fahrenheit) so I decided to brave it and sneak out for a quick walk.
I just barely reached the end of my driveway when a slow moving car stopped in the middle of the street. The driver lowered his window and asked me if I knew where Dixson Street was.
“Dixson?” I asked. “Dix?”
“I guess,” he responded.
“I have never heard of that street. Do you know any landmarks nearby?”
He shook his head.
I took out my phone and asked Siri. He had no idea what I was talking about.
“Here, let me try this.” I said and typed in Dickson Street. This time a result popped up. I looked at the map and zoomed it out. “Oh boy,” I said. “I see where this is at. Are you familiar with the town?”
No, the lost driver was not.
“Well, this is going to be complicated.” My hometown is known for its zig-zagging streets. They give the town a certain character but also get a lot of complaints. In short, it’s not easy finding things.
How to help this poor lost driver who obviously just wanted some turkey dinner?
I gave the best directions I could but I knew they weren’t optimal. So, I repeated them a few times.
His face didn’t have a confident expression but he thanked me and I backed away from his vehicle as he turned around and headed back down the road. He at least understood that much.
I continued on my walk in the same direction he had just driven and watched as he slowly turned the corner at the end of the block. So far so good.
A few minutes later I also turned the same corner and there in front of me was my new friend. He had pulled over to the side of the road but started going again. I saw him at the stop sign and I hoped he would go straight since that’s how I told him to go.
He turned left.
I waved my hands and yelled but he was too far down and disappeared around the corner.
That is not what I said to do but there was nothing I could do about it.
I thought maybe our paths would cross again since I walked up and down the neighborhood but I never saw him again. I like to think with the correct spelling of the street he was able to use his GPS and follow a step by step path to his destination. In other words, I like to think I helped in some small way to help him find his way.
In hindsight, what I wish I would have done is forego the attempted directions and jumped in my car to show him the way. It would have taken five minutes and would have been a lot easier than trying to explain my town’s streets. Next time, I guess.
But going back to that frustrating moment of watching him disappear in the opposite direction than the one I suggested. I wonder if that’s how Heavenly Father feels watching us sometimes. He tries to help us by giving us direction through the Holy Spirit and His directions are good. But for whatever reason, we take a different turn. I wonder if He raises His arms and tries to get our attention. Maybe even says, “You’re going the wrong way!” Yet, we proceed with that turn anyway.
All I know is, if I got a teeny-tiny, itty-bitty glimpse into what He goes through it was very frustrating. I hope I learn to listen better.