“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to” (Bilbo Baggins, The Lord of the Rings).
I had another good night in Franklin. I hit all the usual places– McCreary’s Irish Pub, Kilwin’s, and St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. I had to cut it short when it started to rain.
I also had to improvise a bit for my drive home. Franklin Road going north was blocked off for the Pilgrimage Festival, so I tried a new way. More accurately, I started to try a new way and resorted to GPS when my way led me into unfamiliar territory.
When you’re not sure where you are, i.e. lost, nothing feels better than finding a familiar landmark or street.
When I turned on to Berry’s Chapel Road, I knew I was finally heading in the right direction. It was literally the long and winding road that led me back home.
The faith journey often takes us into unfamiliar territory. Usually, God does that to increase both our awareness of dependence on Him and to grow our faith as we discover new aspects to God’s ability to come through in the clutch.
Sometimes, I’ve been guilty of viewing God as my GPS, a sort of last minute back-up plan in case my own way of getting home fails. Too many of us have prayer and God as a last resort after every other effort has failed.
The lesson from tonight is to start off with prayer. It involves less stress in the end. It also will save you from a lot of heartache and disappointment and distractions that your own “short cuts” inevitably lead to.
One other note: I’d have probably done better if it hadn’t been dark and raining. I probably missed a street or two from not being able to see street signs very well. I think sometimes when you’re tired and frustrated, it’s best not to figure things out because you can’t always see everything properly. And definitely hold off on those emails and posts until you’ve had a good night’s sleep. Just FYI.