September 30, 2013
We were supposed to be off on an adventure at the moment. Not able to swing any major travel for this holiday, the three of us decided, about a week ago, to have a mini-excursion, heading out on a 2-day hiking trip. In some ways it was going to be actually more of an adventure than a standard vacation, as we were going to just play it by ear once we got there, so far as hiking plans and lodging goes, none of us knowing the destination point other than just by word of mouth. The idea of getting out of the city, however, was enough to energize us with an edge of carefree adventurous spirit thrown in there.
But when V called me this morning, about an hour before we were supposed to leave, what I heard was not a question about our plans as I expected; instead I heard a voice speaking too quickly, so that I had to ask her to pause and start over before I could understand. She had begun to worry about several things on her agenda for the next few days, and about the prospect of going away. She didn’t think she should do it. Apparently whatever came out of my mouth was not what she imagined because she sounded surprised. “You’re not upset?” she asked. Not at all, I assured her. In fact, I had a few of my own misgivings that I just had not vocalized. We called M and decided together to cancel the plans.
Instead, today, we ended up picnicking in a park. In some ways this simple activity was actually a bit unusual, considering how green and different-from-our-usual-surroundings the park was.
Scrapping the intended agenda, then, we each unpacked our hiking bags, repacked picnic daypacks, and biked to the park. On the way over there, as I enjoyed the peaceful thinking time, I realized that I was getting less peaceful in my thoughts and more intense as I talked to God. I began talking out loud, repeating a few prayers as I did so. Until this moment, I had not realized how much I needed to pray. Really pray. Busy-ness has a way of doing that—a way of crowding out prayer space from the mind and heart. Today being the first real day of un-planned-ness, then, my feelings of late were able to be really felt. And tears came.
Later, at the park, once we had gotten our goofy photo-taking urges out of the way, we sat down to our picnic. As we did so, I talked of my bike ride over. And like I suspected in might, it resonated with V and M. In my case, it is due to the fact that another year’s door in my life is about to open. Or close, depending on how you look at it, so far as biological clocks go ☺ And as the years pass, I grow increasingly aware of the ways in which my life’s path has not turned out the way I used to assume it would. For quite a few years, this didn’t really matter. But now time has crept up on me and I realize that at this point in time, I may never have some of the experiences I assumed were just a “normal” part of life.
I do not say this to have any sort of a pity party: in fact, I have a great deal of enviable aspects to life. But it is simply a matter of fact right now. And I say it matter-of-factly. So be it.
We encouraged each other then, M recalling a quote she had heard recently. As best as she could remember, it went like this: “You [i.e human beings] are too insignificant to mess up God’s plan for you.” This hit a deep need in my heart, since one of my struggles, in this season of long-term vision-seeking, is the fear that I have somehow messed up His plan for me.
No, the day may not have gone as we planned. But it most certainly went as He planned.
*At one point in the day V snapped a photo of me smelling the only rose we could find in the “rose garden. When I looked at the way the sun’s rays were shining down, I gasped and asked how she did that. She shrugged and said she always manages to capture the sun’s rays like that . . . she would :-)