Joyful Words Blog
Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light for my path.
– Psalm 119:105
– Psalm 119:105
Come follow me…Matthew 4:19
I’m sure to someone who drives a truck or travels extensively for work my week didn’t seem like much but to the woman who has a 3 mile commute to work it was kind of a big deal! I spoke to a wonderful group of women in Madison Wisconsin on Wednesday and traveled to Franciscan University in Steubenville Ohio for Shannon’s college orientation on Thursday. It was 24 total driving hours according to GPS calculations however it ended up being nearly 34 in reality. But…as he often does, God had some lessons smack dab in the middle of the unplanned and unpredicted!
I thought I was so prepared. I had printed MapQuest directions, OnStar and three smart phones in the vehicle on the way to Wisconsin. I was sure we would scoot around the lower side of Chicago and fly right along. Not the case! I was completely enjoying the company and conversation of three great travel friends and listening to the OnStar lady politely point the way. That was the only thing I was paying attention to until I saw the Sears Tower in the distance. I thought I’d be routing around the city any minute but the tower just kept getting closer until we were completely stuck in six lanes of thick traffic. Yuck! I think it’s fair to say that even the super close view of the landmark Sears Tower didn’t make it any better; we were not too impressed. Faith provided an interesting perspective though. Instead of being rattled by the traffic and congestion I just kept feeling so thankful that I had friends along for the ride! I’m not sure how willing they will be to take another trip with me but I was so glad to be traveling through that mess with laughter and good friends! We were determined to find a different route home and avoid downtown Chicago but that superior plan came with a missed exit and a lovely drive nearly fifty miles in the wrong direction. As frustrating as that was to discover the delay resulted in a perfectly timed connection with a nephew in Indiana. Had we executed our plan perfectly we would have missed him completely. Funny how things work when we think we have the perfect plan!
After the events of Tuesday and Wednesdays drive I was sure the familiar trip to Ohio would be a cake walk. Again, I left with printed directions, a smart phone (which I have to admit is new and I really don’t know how to use very well yet) and our friends at OnStar. I was confident and looking forward to an easy drive when all of the sudden something brought traffic to a standstill. It was the kind of slowdown that had people getting out of their cars to visit. Sitting there meant being very late for our six p.m. event but trusting google maps meant driving through the grass median and turning around to follow directions that took us someplace completely unfamiliar. Trusting the voice on that little smartphone was a big decision. Thankfully after a bumpy ride to cut across to the other side of the interstate it was a smooth and flawless detour. I was amazed that the alternate route took us about 1/4 mile north to a tiny little two lane road that I’d never noticed before which ran parallel to the interstate. As we drove along we saw the miles long back up. If we hadn’t trusted that little GPS voice we might still be sitting there!
The week was sprinkled with mishaps, unplanned detours, opportunities for a new perspective and happy endings. I guess life is a lot like that isn’t it! No matter how perfectly we think we have things planned and mapped out; stuff happens! I practiced trust, patience and optimism this week and each time I did things just worked out. I don’t think it was a coincidence…I think that’s pretty much the way life really works when I’m not so busy being bent out of shape that my excellent planning isn’t materializing! We had to be willing to try new routes and make changes based on blind trust. It’s funny that after we finally made it through Chicago we made a much needed rest stop and lying right at my feet on the pavement as I hopped out of the car were two penny’s facing up revealing the words “In God We Trust”. I love it when he gets right to the point! If he is who we trust, it isn't blind trust at all! He always leads the way but that doesn’t mean his path is straight, clear or direct! After all, the invitation came in Matthew's Gospel, "Come follow me."
A Seed To Plant: Stop and pray about one thing you are busy planning right now. Ask God to take charge of those plans and then let go of the control a bit and see what he does with your plans.
Blessings on your day!
Sheri's writing can also be found at Faith Catholic Publications and on CatholicMom.com