Thursday, April 23, 2015

Seeing what is ahead

Without a doubt one of the best purchases I made while living in Germany was a 50cc vespa. I had it for a little over a year and loved every second of owning it. It wasn’t the fastest scooter out there nor was it always the most reliable, but it certainly was a lot of fun to own and drive. It provided the wheels necessary to get me to destinations too far to travel by foot and also provided an escape when stress and worries became overwhelming. It was not uncommon for me to “go for a scoot” as I liked to call it, to have some time to myself where I could process through all that was happening. It provided moments where I could go on an adventure and explore new surroundings. It made me feel very European as I buzzed through the cobblestone streets, and winded my way through local vineyards overlooking the green rolling hills.
The vespa also enabled me to get to and from practice for the soccer team I was playing with. The journey took a solid fifteen minutes by scooter, and had it not been for those wheels, I probably would not have been able to play. During the winter months I would leave my apartment for soccer as the sun was falling, and would return when it was completely dark out. The first time I returned home in the dark, I remember having a deep and profound thought based upon the dim light my scooter’s headlight gave off: I could only see a few feet in front of me, and had to trust what I could see, and try not to worry about what was ahead and out of sight.
                  I found that the thought brought comfort and served as a great reminder of the way God sometimes leads us. At times I would love to know the whole picture. I want to see the way everything is going to unfold. I want to know where the next stop is going to be – where the next job will lead – what will happen in the future. But God doesn’t always paint the entire picture. He simply shines the light on the next few steps. As the few steps ahead are being lit, all I can do is trust God that he is leading me where I need to go. Nowadays when there may be a dark and uncertain future ahead, I take myself back to riding my scooter and the reminder to simply focus on what is right in front of me, and God will in his timing, reveal the future.
                  While driving home from those soccer practices, more than any other time while riding my scooter, I found comfort when a car came behind me. During the day I would generally get nervous the car from behind wouldn’t see me, or would get too close as they tried to pass. Yet, at night, their presence was a welcome sight as their headlights commonly shown brighter than my own. Their headlights reached farther down the road than my own. As they came behind me, the path ahead of me was momentarily brighter. I could see farther down the road than what my vespa’s headlight offered. I enjoyed their presence, and as they passed I was grateful for their aiding my journey and the light they offered while we traveled the same road. Every time a car came behind me and passed, I thought of the friends and family traveling the journey of life with me. Those who came beside me to encourage, challenge, and pray for me. The cars didn’t travel with me the entire way, they were only there for a chapter of the journey – but their presence and aid along the way never went unnoticed.
                  Little by little my vespa’s headlight guided me home – I was never able to see the entire journey all at once, but I never got off track from where I was supposed to be. God may not always reveal his plans for us providing us with every detail and every turn ahead, but he did promise to never leave us nor forsake us.

                  Enjoy the journey! 

Thursday, April 9, 2015

"To be loved but not known is comforting but superficial. To be known and not loved is our greatest fear. But to be fully known and truly loved is, well, a lot like being loved by God."
- Timothy Keller