Oh, the things you see (and hear) on vacation….
Leaving our hotel in Goodland, Kansas late last week as we started our summer vacation to Colorado, we noticed two young hikers walking along the main road off the interstate, clearly having a very animated conversation. They both appeared to have been living outside for some time, and carried everything they owned on their backs. We couldn’t hear exactly what they were talking about, but finally the shorter one with long blond hair exclaimed to the taller, bearded one in a baseball cap, “Why did you bring me here?!” They continued walking for a hundred yards, and then stopped to ask passersby for money at the entrance to the Walmart parking lot.
I don’t know their circumstances. There could be a lot of different, very valid reasons why these two young men were hiking through Goodland, Kansas on this particular Friday. Still, I couldn’t help but chuckle at the blond hiker’s question. How many times have I asked God that question? And how many times did a meaningless, worthless distraction reveal itself to be God’s leading in my life?
Maybe Goodland is where a kind farmer offers the hiker a job on his farm. And maybe Goodland is where the newly-employed hiker meets that nice waitress at a local coffee shop who later becomes his wife. And if the hiker doesn’t already know Jesus, maybe Goodland is where Jesus finally gets this young man’s attention, and he chooses to join God’s family by accepting the free gift of salvation Jesus offers at the cross.
Humans often contract a serious case of spiritual nearsightedness when faced with adversity. It’s so difficult to see what God’s doing in our lives when there is so much trouble right in front of us. Faith in God’s grace can allow believers to see their circumstances through His eyes while they are happening, and not just in the rearview mirror.
Just last night, as we ended our Colorado vacation at the glorious Ft. Collins fireworks show (I’ve never seen anything like it), a young couple walked past me on the sidewalk. At just that moment the young man asked his girlfriend this question: “Just whose idea was it for us to come here?”