First of all, I hope you’ve had a wonderful summer. I’ve had some fun adventures, from Dallas, Texas to Trenton, New Jersey and many places in between. I’ve been to many a swim meet, breathed in some salty air and spent a ton of time just hanging out with my family. We started doing college visits and I also spent six days laying face down after having surgery to re-attach my retina. I never stay home for six solid days, and I never lay on my stomach. But by God’s grace, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.
Being socially unplugged since Mother’s Day has helped me be wholly present, but I always miss blogging! I often compose posts in my head because I love telling stories. We are made for stories. Folding our story into God’s gives context and meaning to everything. The more we let the story — the truth — of Jesus inform and direct and our lives, the more we become who He created us to be.
Of course if you’ve been reading this blog for any time at all — it’s a decade old this month — you know that I have an unbelievable propensity for embarrassing myself. This summer was no different.
Dub and I did part of our college loop by train in and out of DC. Any time I ride the train I always marvel how easy it is. You can arrive to the station just minutes before the train pulls out and you still have time to grab coffee. Coffee took on even greater importance that morning since we were hopping on the 4:30a train. We returned the same day, rolling back in at around 7:30p. Our plan was to have dinner with my niece, Caitlin, her husband and baby, who live near Capitol Hill. She ordered take-out Thai and Dub and I picked it up. From the restaurant we ordered an Uber. I didn’t bother to dig for reading glasses but had Dub confirm that I had entered the address correctly. For any non-Washingtonians, the District is divided into quadrants, Southwest, Southeast, Northeast, and Northwest. The address specifies which quadrant. For example, 123 Jackson Ave SE would be in an entirely different area than 123 Jackson Ave NW. I insisted that Dub confirm I’d entered the NE, designation.
When we climbed into the Uber, our driver indicated that he was deaf. I was in the front seat and Dub in the back. It took about three blocks for me to realize that we were heading in the wrong direction. Oh dear. It would’ve been a good time to know sign language. Through mostly pointing, we indicated to the driver that this was not right. He pulled over and whipped out a sign. He was prepared for me. The sign said “You must correct the address on the app.”
“Make sure it says NE!” I said as I handed Dub my phone. A few seconds later we were off again, and inching closer to where we needed to be. But then after a few minutes, we again abruptly turned Northwest. “What on earth,” I thought. Then I realized we were near a park I recognized. I motioned to our dear, patient driver that we’d just get out there. I was almost 100% certain that I knew the sign for thank you, but in my sleep deprived, exhausted state-of-mind I feared that the wave from the chin could also be some kind vulgarity. Stupidly, I just repeatedly said “thank you” and hopped out.
We stumbled through the park, made a few more turns and praised God when we eyed Caitlin’s place.
Over dinner, I recounted our Uber adventure. The look on Caitlin’s face was priceless. She was utterly dumbfounded.
“It’s SE, not NE!” she said.
With more sleep I’m confident I’d know that the United States Capitol is not North. It’s kind of unreal that I could make such a mistake. Repeatedly. How we got anywhere near where we needed to be is miraculous. God’s grace alone.
What kind of a moron gives a deaf Uber driver an address that does not even exist?
But it got me thinking about the importance of setting destinations. What is yours? Where are you headed in life?
While I am game for adventure, and love seeing new places, the ultimate aim of my life is the Kingdom of God. Jesus speaks so clearly on this: Seek first His Kingdom and everything else falls into place. My fumbling Uber trip testifies that you may even arrive exactly where you need to be when you insist on a nonexistent destination. That’s how much God loves you.
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matthew 6)