Soooooo, I had to map my route the other day to find out where our upcoming Women’s Retreat is going to be. I’m on the planning team and we all agreed LAST year’s directions were none-too-helpful, in fact, several women arrived tired and cranky and ready to (ahem) strangle someone because they were less than clear.
And since I’m the word person on our team I volunteered to actually DRIVE to the site (an hour and a half away) and write out the directions myself.
Prior to going, I logged on to the website for the Camp we were visiting. Their directions include starting from Seattle. Since we don’t technically live in Seattle (we’re 35 miles away) those wouldn’t work… but I printed them out anyway to take along on my clipboard, with which I made notes.
(I’d include a copy of their directions here, but since I’m not expecting any of you to visit Seattle in the near future they may just confuse you.) Here’s a photo instead of the map where we’re going:
It turned out to be a lovely day for a drive to the foothills of Mount Rainier. Scenic vistas awaited me in the country, blue skies, horse ranches, little towns and truck stops along the way lent a feeling of peacefulness you just don’t get in the heart of a metropolis.
As I stopped at various corners or pulled over on the side of the road to make notes I thought about adding my own non-mappy comments:
- “Just before the turn off on Vail Road, look for the River, it’s high this time of year and full up to the banks.
- When you round the corner on Peissner, get ready for a breathtaking view of Mount Rainier. And glance at those peaceful horses.
- The fields are full of flowers of all kinds of colors this time of year…..
- Notice there’s a nursery on your right, just before turning off the highway. (Maybe you can stop on the way back???)”
And I thought about the difference between reading a list of directions or a manual (or The Word) and actually LIVING it. When I drove those roads myself, my eyes were filled with details I’d never see just reading it on paper. There were landmarks along the way, sights on either side of me that never made it into print. No one added photographs of the beauty along the way. Just the words….
But what about walking along the road of my life? If you ask me, I’ll tell you after all these years about the rocks along the way, the distractions, the times I fell down and Jesus picked me up. I’m going to remind you of the beauty I saw as I journeyed and I might point to the places that you can find rest, too.
Luke records in his book the story of two disciples walking along the road to Emmaeus after Jesus’ resurrection. As they are discussing what has happened, Jesus himself appears to them but they don’t recognize the Saviour. They recount the circumstances of the death and resurrection–the body is gone!–and wonder how this stranger could not know what took place.
Jesus remarks (to Himself?) they are ‘foolish ones and slow of heart’ (Ampl.) and is amazed that they don’t recognize him. It is not until they are taking and breaking bread together that their eyes are opened.
When our hearts are ‘greatly moved and burning within us’, we can’t pass that on to people by just telling them we know about a Really Good Book they should read or hand them Scripture cards or a blog post.
People are moved and touched when we tell the details of our lives and our experience along The Way, how our Saviour walked with us in the dark times, the valleys, over the hills and home again. Or how He pursued us as we got off course and lost our map and He came after us, time and time again.
When people look at my life I want them to see my worn out shoes and my old and well used map….the one that leads me home.
How about you?