I took a trip to New York city to visit family and friends. In my mind, I was going to be able to see everyone, despite needing to travel to Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens and the Bronx to do so. I was wrong, and I’m still not sure how I came to the conclusion that the subways could get me anywhere within 20 minutes. I was probably thinking 30 years in the future. Anywho. On the second to last day I was in town, I planned to travel from Brooklyn to Manhattan for lunch. Since I was traveling by myself, my cousin suggested that I screenshot the subway route from Google Maps, so that I knew exactly how many stops the subway would make, and which stop was mine. Genius right? This was a full proof plan on how NOT to get lost in a major city. I took the screenshots, made my way to the subway, and hopped on the one that was going to take me to my destination. We made the first stop on the list. Great! However, the second stop we made was further down on the list I took a screenshot of. Between having zero cellphone reception, and no clear cut direction on where I was headed, I internally panicked. Now Marissa getting lost by herself, and Marissa getting lost with someone else are two different Marissas.
We arrived at the next stop and my uncertainty for where I was headed only grew. Over the loud speaker, the conductor announced the final destination, and said that we were on an accelerated subway, and would not be making every stop. I was on “the right” subway, but it wasn’t making the expected stops? I continued riding and continuously checked where on the list we were, without passing my designated stop. We arrived at the following stop, and the conductor announced that the next stop (which should have been the one I would get off at) was going to pass my destination. The doors opened and a few people got off of the subway. For a moment I thought to myself, ‘you should get off here,’ but I didn’t. I could have gone to the next stop and then backtracked right? How do I know if the next train I take is going to stop where I need it to?
The doors closed for a split second and then re-opened. Again I thought to myself ‘you should really get off.’ By the time I stood up, the doors had closed again. At that point, I almost took my seat when the doors reopened for a third time. This time, I didn’t allow myself to think, or weigh the options of staying versus going, I just got off. Once I touched the platform, the doors shut behind me, and the subway continued on its route. I waited for the next subway that was labeled with what matched my screenshot. It came shortly after, and when I got on, there was a map of the stops the subway intended to make. I was back on track, and fortunately arrived at my destination smoothly.
How often do we get on the right subway, which accelerates our journey, only to realize at some point we have to get off and change subways, in order to reach our personal destination?
How often does God give us multiple opportunities to move, but we allow our hesitation to prevent us from going to the next level? And then we want to complain about being lost and stuck?
There is a reason the doors opened three times, and left once I finally got off. Each of our circumstances are on a time frame, and when we need to switch gears, we will not always be given three chances to do so. It is important that we get to a point where we can recognize both danger and/or opportunity, and implement our discernment to know when and how to move.