Can you remember a time when you felt lost? Taken a wrong turn and ended up in unfamiliar surroundings? Or maybe you are feeling lost at this moment. The feeling is bewildering.
Webster’s Dictionary gives 9 definitions of “Lost” but “unable to find the way” is the one best suited for the experience I had years ago in Chicago.
Lost in Chicago
One of the times I felt the most lost was on a trip to Chicago. My inexperience in traveling was my downfall. I was a young adult and unfamiliar with transit in the big city. It pains me to admit my ignorance. But to be honest, I failed to research fully the transportation situation. I boarded the South Shore train in South Bend. Thinking I would end up at the terminal, I planned to take a cab from there to my friend’s apartment. But I didn’t know the train had a series of drop off points.
When I realized my mistake, panic threatened along with tears. I knew no one in the city except my friend. Cell phones, hadn’t been invented.
Solving the problem
These are steps I took to get out of a potentially dangerous situation.
- Stay calm
- Seek wise counsel
- Develop a plan of action
I prayed for wisdom. A scripture I learned as a child filled my mind. “What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.” Psalm 56:3 New King James version.
The overwhelming fear ebbed. My sense of reason returned. I looked at the faces of the other passengers. Who I could I trust?
I asked train conductor for help. He advised me to get off at a stopping point, run to the nearest street corner, and hail a cab.
Within minutes, I decided to follow his instructions. At the next stop, I departed the train while the city of Chicago was asleep. The lights of the tall buildings loomed behind the drop off point which consisted of a concrete wall with a turnstile and stairs. I lugged my large Pullman suitcase off the train. Thoughts of danger lurking in the shadows set my heart pounding. When my suitcase got stuck at the turnstile, panic seized me. A stranger stopped to help me, and I’ll never forget his kindness.
I was able to find my way to a main thoroughfare and hail a cab.
This experience taught me a lesson about the importance of preparation and planning ahead.Had I researched thoroughly the transportation available, I could have avoided the trauma of the experience. Among the valuable lessons learned, faith in God for guidance was the most important.
Have you experienced the fear of being lost? How did you cope? Any lessons learned?