Whew! What an adventure. I had written last week that we would be taking a different direction in the blog for a few days. Little did I know that we were going to have a whirlwind of events to change our plans. My goal was to spend this week blogging about our Southern Baptist Convention taking place in Columbus, Ohio. Well, that isn’t going to happen. On our way to Pensacola, Florida where we were going to catch a flight to Columbus, we received heartbreaking news about one of our new members. Her son had been found dead. Our hearts were broken for her, and our desire was to get back to Decatur to minister to the family. We made some phone calls to make sure that she would be ministered to until we could make it back. I am so proud that several people from our church stepped in to act as the hands and feet of Jesus to show His love to the family. Almost immediately following those phone calls, our SUV decided to act up. Yes, it’s almost 10 years old and problems often arise, but it is paid for! To make a long story just a little shorter, we made it to Pensacola, cancelled all of our reservations, and finally got our SUV in the shop on Saturday. Anyway, we made it back to Decatur late yesterday afternoon and had an opportunity to visit with the family whose loved one died.
Now, let me explain a couple of things. We drove down to Pensacola to catch a flight simply because our son-in-law has a birthday this coming Thursday. Our plan was to fly back to Pensacola on Thursday so that we could be with him on his special day. You see, birthdays are a big deal in our family. We refer to them as birthday Hanukahs, and we usually celebrate for weeks. Nothing big, but we love to give gifts and have special meals. But as you know, plans change. I think God sometimes watches as we make our plans and just kind of laughs and says, “That’s what you think.” We spent several hours agonizing over what we needed to do. I prayed and felt miserable. I felt the need to be in Decatur, but I also felt like I needed to be at the convention. I couldn’t “sense” God’s direction, but I just didn’t “feel” satisfied with the thought of continuing on with our plans. So I cancelled all of our reservations. I have never received such customer service in my life. Everyone was willing to cancel everything with the promise that I would have a year to use my airline tickets, the hotel didn’t even charge me a night’s stay, and the rental car did the same. No questions. No hassle. Just service. And suddenly there was peace about the decision. Yes, I still hated that I wasn’t going to the SBC, but I knew it was the right thing to do. Sometimes God waits for us to make a decision before He gives us direction. I am always reminded of Moses at times like this. He asked God, “How will I KNOW that you sent me to deliver your people from their bondage in Egypt?” God’s response: “When you are standing in the Promised Land, you will KNOW.”
It would be great if God gave us step-by-step directions for life, but sometimes He says, “Choose your path according to what I have revealed to you, and I will let you know if it was the right choice.” So did we make the right choice? Absolutely. No, we won’t get to celebrate Jon’s birthday on Thursday, but we did get to take him out to eat several times. Even better, we got to spend some extra time with Jon, Ashley, and Lucy. It wasn’t the convention, but I don’t think I would have gotten the same response from a bunch of preachers that I got from my granddaughter. At least, I hope I wouldn’t have gotten the same response. That would have been a little creepy!