Clear and Simple

Seeing that I lived near the U.S. and Canadian border I have had the opportunity to drive around Quebec. Well at least before 9/11 when it was not much different than traveling across state borders, now they ask a few more questions. For those who are not familiar with the province of Quebec it is one of the largest French-speaking provinces in Canada, in fact it sorts of frowns on using any other language even though the rest of the country speaks English. Historically, the French took a hold of the country first but handed it over to the British whom kept control of it for many years until Canada grew up and became their own entity, yet they still have Queen Elizabeth on their currency.

I remember the first time I drove into Canada, it didn’t take me long at all to get lost and more so, confused. I never studied any appropriate second language and most of the road signs in Quebec are in French. At first it was merely amusing because I felt they didn’t know how to use words, but then I needed to rely on those signs and I couldn’t figure them out. For example, don’t try to drive 100 miles an hour in Canada, it’s not allowed. They use kilometers so it is closer to 60 mph. The stop signs are shaped like ours but they say ARRET not STOP, you can tell that you are supposed to stop. But think about just finding north or south; which they use NORD and SUD. They still are fairly similar as is east which is EST but if you are going to travel west you are actually going on a OUEST.

The street signs are all in French and after a few attempts it becomes easier but you will certainly feel lost. I ended up an hour or so out of the way when I reentered the U.S., boy did they have some questions and a few laughs after which. While I was lost in Canada I certainly regretted not having any knowledge of the French language, however; I would really only need it in Quebec and I really didn’t go there that often. If I was to spend more time up there I would certainly benefit from learning a few key phrases and words. I will always remember how I felt when I kept getting lost because I couldn’t read the signs or understand the directions, even the map wasn’t of much use to me because of my failure to understand.

I am reminded of this part of my life because I wonder how many times I have failed to understand the direction in life I am supposed to be headed in. There are so many questions as far as why I am where I am and what it is that I am supposed to do here. I often wonder how many times I was placed in a situation but failed to understand the road signs and ventured off course to many miles. I look back at my life and see many times where I could have done things a bit differently and questioned why I couldn’t see that path those many years ago. We have this agency or free will here on this world but at times I wish He would just tell us where it is He wants us to be or what it is He wants us to do. I am not fluent enough to understand these road signs or read this map. I am not smart enough to speak the language or read these directions. I know I have been placed here by Him, but I feel just as lost as trying to drive through a country where I can ‘t speak the language or understand the path I am on.

I need a translator or some kind of idiot’s guide to where I am book. I am so afraid that He has given me an opportunity to prove myself and grow and because I can’t understand what I am to do I will fail, again. I feel I am strong enough for Him to be frank with me and straight to the point. I also feel I am smart enough to comprehend my purpose if He would just give it to me in a clear and simple directive in a language I already know. I wonder how many times I wouldn’t have gotten lost or of course, or even distracted had the directions been clear and simple. What scares me more is that maybe the directions have been clear and simple yet I have complicated them and ignored them. Sort of like misreading the bus schedule and siting there waiting four hours for the next bus.

I am here now waiting for the bus per say and I wonder if maybe I should look back at the directions and try to decipher it in such a way that keeps it clear and simple. Maybe, just maybe I missed something and have enough time to go back and make the correct turn before I get too lost and lose everything, again. Maybe I over complicated everything and I just need to be clear and simple.