“You travel with the hope that something unexpected will happen. It has to do with enjoying being lost and figuring it out and the satisfaction. I always get a little disappointed when I know too well where I’m going, or when I’ve lived in a place so long that there’s no chance I could possibly get lost.” ~Andrew Bird
I can remember a few times going on vacation with the family when I was very young where the journey took unexpected routes. The reason was quite simple: my dad got lost. Usually, it was because he missed an off-ramp and kept going down the highway and then became startled when signs of approaching cities were not the cities that we should have been approaching.
The initial reaction was almost always the same. Dad would blame mom for not being the proper navigator that she should have been. In all fairness, mom could not read a map to save her soul. But she always got stuck being the navigator. Dad would tell her to look for certain exits and alert him ahead of time. But, they would often become so engrossed in conversation that the need to watch the signs would become forgotten.
The secondary reaction was almost just as predictable. Mom would tell dad to stop and ask for directions. Dad would refuse, consult the map, and try to figure out how to remedy the situation, sometimes turning around and going back, sometimes searching for alternate routes.
In those times, we got to see things that we had not planned on seeing and stopping at places that were not on the itinerary.
Lent is a lot like the unexpected journey. We are asked to step out of the familiar, to take a different route, and to open our eyes to the possibilities of what is ahead. We can meet the journey with fear and trepidation or we can view it as an exciting opportunity to discover new things: new things about ourselves, about others, and about our God.
Do not fear the journey. Embrace the unexpected. Know that God is in all things and will be with you every step of the way.
FAITH ACTION: Take some step in the practice of your faith that may be unfamiliar to you. If you have never visited a nursing home, do so. If you have never helped at a soup kitchen, volunteer. See what the journey brings to you.