Bishop's Letter: Losing Your Way

I’m an avid hiker. I’ve hiked many Arizona trails, as well as a portion of the Camino de Santiago and the Dales Way in England. I have a pretty good sense of direction. But sometimes, I do get lost.

In my second year at Luther Seminary, I found myself feeling lost. I had been working at Augsburg University and believed I was the perfect fit for a posted position. I would have left the seminary to step into the job, but it wasn’t offered to me. Filled with disappointment and to be honest, some anger, I entered into my internship year doubting if I was really called to be a pastor. I was losing confidence in myself and God’s presence in my journey. I really thought that I was supposed to be someplace else. I carried on, but not with the certainty that I was called. I lost my way.

Half-way into my internship year, I was leading a retreat for our confirmation kids. Before activities for the day got started, I went to the lake to talk, and listen, to God. There was a moment where the path became clear. There were no angels, or messages, but I felt the tears flowing down my face and a unexpected calm. I knew I was where God was calling me to be. The path hasn’t always been easy, but most days the direction is clear.

Even though I’ve been lost a few times, on the trails and in life, God has guided the way.

What happens when you speak to or listen to God during your times of feeling lost? What would you say to people that are struggling? I’d like to know.


The Rev. Deborah K. Hutterer
Grand Canyon Synod of the ELCA
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