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aerial view of a northern river

Early in the morning we began our drive to visit friends at their “bush camp.” We had a map to guide us and, after many hours of gravel roads and passing by isolated outfitter camps, we arrived at their place. However, no one was at the cabin, and there was no cell phone reception. After eating our lunch we drove to the closest outfitter to ask if anyone had seen their truck. No one had, so we decided to head home. A young man there offered us directions to a short cut.

We headed west and came to a river crossing. This “bridge” looked like one we had crossed at the beginning of the day. That one had a sign that read “Bridge Out,” but there was no sign here. It took faith – we were driving on two planks about the width of the tires, no sides, and little wood below the planks was all we could see. I closed my eyes (no, I wasn’t the driver).

The next crossroad that was supposed to take us south after a certain number of kilometres wasn’t visible – only an overgrown path with alders closing in on both sides. We avoided that route and drove on with no further direction. Eventually giving up, we stopped, turned around and retraced our path, counting the kilometres. This had been no short cut! Eventually we came upon a crew of bush-cutters who told us about another way out.

I have been reflecting on spiritual lostness. One writer stated that, “The greatest enemy of our faith today is lostness. Lostness is the terrible enemy that Jesus commissioned His followers to vanquish with the battle strategy of Matthew 28:18-20.”

Just as in our driving story, people today are looking for direction. They may have a self-sufficient plan of action; they may have been given misguided direction; or they may live a risk-taking lifestyle, and yet all be lost. Jesus presents hope: “I have come to seek and to save those who are lost” (Luke 19:10).

Written by: RuthAnna Dana, missionary in Northern Canada

Posted in Indigenous Ministries