When I was a teacher I once used the film Crash (2004) as a film study in one of my English classes. If you've seen that film you know there are a lot of characters whose lives are connected and interwoven in various ways.
To try and help the students keep track of the connections, we drew up a character web. By the time we were done it was large and complex as there were many names on the board with many lines running between the to illustrate the relationships and connections. If anyone had walked into the room and tried to figure out what was on the board, it would have seemed a bit overwhelming.
In fact for many of the students, they too looked at it and felt daunted by it. Trying to take in the whole thing at once...well, you can't. There's too much information.
But that character web wasn't designed to be taken in all at once. It was designed so you could focus on one character. Find that characters name and then follow the lines from that character to see their connections.
When you do that it is fairly basic. You can follow a whole trail of connections that make sense, when you start with just one character at a time.
It is the same with many things, like looking at a map. It can seem overwhelming when you try and take in the whole thing. But once you find the little "You are here" marker, then work out which way you are facing, then notice which landmarks you are standing near that you can also find on the map, step by step you break it down into something that makes sense.
You can probably see where I'm going with this analogy...
Life is like the biggest, most complex character web you can imagine. It is like giant map, and often there are bits of the map that we don't even have yet. It can seem overwhelming when you try and take it in all at once.
But the good thing is that only God has to take in the whole thing at once. And he can do that because he created it all. We only have to look at what we have and start with one thing at a time.
If you are feeling lost in your life, don't try and work it all out at once. Start with one name in the character web - yours - and see what your connections are. Find the "You are here" maker and orientate yourself. Sometimes you need to know where you are right now before you can think about getting to anywhere else.
And the good thing is this is not just a map on a piece of paper - it's like a digital map in GPS directly linked to God. Get your downloads from Him.
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. Psalm 119:105
Do you have any other favourite verses that help you find that "You are here" marker? How has God shown up with a new map for your life?