Asking directions is not my favorite thing to do. I always feel that if I stay at it long enough I’ll eventually find my way. My wife, Martie, on the other hand, is always quick to ask directions and incredulous about my unwillingness to admit that I don’t have a clue about where I’m going. In the end, she is the wiser one. She gets to her destination quickly and without angst while I end up getting lost.
A homeless man spends time in our local library. One afternoon, while I was writing there, I took a lunch break. After I finished the first half of a turkey and Swiss cheese sandwich, an image of the man’s face came to mind. A few minutes later, I offered him the untouched part of my lunch. He accepted.
The idea of always being prepared makes me think of the man who lived next door to us when I was growing up. When Mr. Nienhuis came home, he never failed to back his car into the garage. That seemed unusual to me until my mother explained that Nels was a volunteer fireman. If he got a call, he had to be ready to race to the fire station. He backed in so he could leave quickly when he had to report for duty.
While standing in a checkout line, I was estimating my bill and trying to keep my son from wandering away. I barely noticed when the woman ahead of me shuffled toward the exit, leaving all of her items behind. The clerk confided that the woman didn’t have enough money to pay her bill. I felt terrible; if only I had been aware of her situation earlier, I would have helped her.
Sometimes the path of life seems impossibly steep and lengthy. I have no strength and no will for the journey. Then I remember God knew this path long before I was called to walk it. He has always known the difficulties I would experience, the pain that I could never explain to another. He knows and offers His presence.