I'm sharing some thoughts from a series called 'Life Is A Highway' - four sessions on navigating the road of life from a recent guest speaking appearance I did at a women's retreat. The event took place at beautiful Camp Sagitawa in northern BC. In session two, I continued looking at the main passage from Luke 13 - 35, focusing on these verses:
(Luke 24: 13 – 16)
13.And behold, two of them were going that very day to a village named Emmaus, which was about seven miles from Jerusalem.
14. And they were conversing with each other about all these things which had taken place
15. And it came about that while they were conversing and discussing, Jesus Himself approached and began traveling with them.
16. But their eyes were prevented from recognizing Him.
God often meets with us in the everyday, ordinary experiences of our lives. Often we don’t even recognize that we’ve had a ‘God moment’ until much later. Let me relate a few:
I have moved between 30 and 36 times in my life. In all, I’ve lived and worked in five provinces and territories, some of the more exotic places being Churchill, MB – the polar bear capital of the world; The North West Territories, and the Yukon. Many of these moves we made with small children or while I was pregnant, and some were in the dead of winter. Few included fancy moving vans, especially in the early years. Imagine, if you will, a beat up old half ton truck with a mismatched topper on the back loaded with 'stuff', all topped up with a couple of mattresses tied to the roof. Talk about the Clampetts!
A few other memorable adventures include:
- Getting stampeded by buffalo when walking in a game preserve when we weren’t supposed to be…
- A thirty hour freight train ride with a brand new baby and two toddlers with only a few wooden benches for sitting and one functional, dirty bathroom for us and the crew.
Or how about a seven week cross Canada trip with all four children where we only stopped for a room every four days. (It was a way to save time and money!) We just slept in the car; my husband would keep driving until everyone was asleep. If and when he got tired, he’d pull over and rest and then we’d keep on going. In the morning we’d stop and see the sights etc. Sometimes he would just drive all night and the next day too! (Cause he can do that!)
On a trip to Mexico, we pulled a trailer so we had a place to sleep, but it didn’t have plumbing. We decided to stop at this campground to take showers. However, Gerald wasn’t ready to stop for the night. It was already in the wee hours –perhaps 3am. We woke up the kids, made them take showers, and then left! I had the easy job with the three girls although the youngest was only seven or eight. Gerald had the task of waking up our five year old son and getting him showered… I look back at that now and shake my head! It's become part of our family folklore.
I can look back now and laugh, and thank God for the folklore and for the protection. I also thank Him for his provision. There were times, especially early in our marriage, where He provided basics like food. The winter I was pregnant with our eldest, we had moved on a whim to my father’s summer cabin. I had just finished university, and Gerald had decided not to go back to Churchill that year. Neither one of us had jobs and we couldn’t afford to keep our place in the city, so we moved into the cabin on the golf course. I look back now and I can’t believe we were so foolish… but we were young and in love and it seemed like a good idea at the time. Gerald shot a deer and a lady from the church we attended gave us a whole bunch of ‘Faba beans’… (I'll never eat a Faba bean again!) That is basically what we lived on for the winter. Deer and Faba beans…
which is probably why our daughter weighed 10 pounds 6 ounces when she was born!
That wasn’t the only silly move. We made a few others, more than once without a job to go to… and in some cases it meant really hard times for awhile. On the other hand, we look back at most of these moves and can see God’s hand. They all seemed to occur with very little headache on our parts. Time and again, things would just ‘fall into place’ – I think partly because of my husband’s innate optimism – (we like to call him relentlessly optimistic) - and in hindsight I would not trade any one of these adventures.
Once in awhile I have stopped to wonder what my life would have been like had I taken a different path. It reminds me of Robert Frost's poem 'The Road Not Taken'. However, I have no regrets.
Maybe some of you do, however. And that’s why it’s important to start every day fresh. Meet each day with the expectation that God is going to meet with you that day – letting go of the past and looking to the future. You just never know when you might find out later that God was actually walking right there beside you all the time.
To see the first post in this series go to the link - Life Is A Highway - at Camp Sagitawa.