A couple of days ago we visited an underground city called Derinkuyu. We bought our tickets and began the descent into this place that at one time could hold 30,000+ people as a refuge and place of safety. Refuge? Safety? Who doesn’t want that?
If you follow the red arrows, you will descend three stories, underground, through tunnels and stairwells and corridors carved out for people to live and move about. Ventilation systems kept the air clean and small tubes carved from one floor to the others served as a communication highway. If you follow the blue arrows, you will ascend to the surface; to the light.
As we continued to descend, down a narrow stairway, I could sense I was beginning to panic… just a little… so I thought. The walls were so close, our shoulders scraped the chiseled rock on each side of us. It was only wide enough for one person and I found myself saying, “I can’t see any blue arrows” “Where are the blue arrows?” I told the small group I was with I think I needed to turn back. But I couldn’t. I felt trapped. There was only one way to go. Forward. Down.
One of our team members squeezed passed me as I hugged the rock wall so he was in the lead, and another team member, a therapist, was right behind me coaching me to feel the ground under my feet – grounding me to the present. Bob from the back of the group of five encouraged me, “If we make it down the stairs, we will come to an open area and you will see a blue arrow.” I remember saying out loud, “I’m ok. Jesus is with me” and kept walking down one step at a time. I focused on my breathing – centering myself as best as I could.
Then, without any notification, we came to the end of the narrow stairwell into an opening, and… a glorious blue arrow! My body‘s response was immediate relief. There it is! There’s the way out!
As I reflect on this I can’t help but think, how many times do we desperately long for those blue arrows to show us the way out of somewhere we don’t want to be? We feel stuck, trapped and unable to move. But this I know – there is always a way. Our job is to keep moving forward, stay grounded in God and keep our eyes open for the blue arrows showing us the path to take. We will find them if we don’t give up.
“Through it all, my eyes are on you; and it is well, with me” ~It Is Well, Kristene DiMarco