[Un]Relying on Self

I woke early on Sunday morning, begging my body to get in sync with the new time zone. There was much to see in Ireland, and I didn’t want to sleep the day away. After a quick mile run to wake me up and a wee bite to eat, I set off by foot to get to the other side of the city. I had been on a quick tour of St. Patrick’s Cathedral the previous afternoon after our eight-hour trip across the Atlantic but today I was eager to attend Sunday service. I grabbed a sweater, just in case, and headed out the hotel lobby.  The valet gentlemen gave me directions, but the configuration of the streets left me slightly confused. My senses were overjoyed as I took in the sights and sounds of my ancestor’s native land; I all but forgot that I was walking.

My subconscious faith in my sense of direction found me walking for several minutes before I thought to consult any phone app to check the accuracy of my path. When I did finally consult Google, my heart sank. I had been so confident that I was going the right way. The sidewalks and well-traveled paths were replaced by narrow, smelly alley ways, as I back tracked to my destination. The local topography left much to desire, not in sight but in elevation, and I was reminded with every step that my white sandals were not the proper choice for this part of the trip. Perspiration found its way to my brow and I was regretting the sweater that I had to carry.

The streets were worn and almost deserted. Few cars passed me by as I walked on the side of the different roads. The stone buildings that I passed were a mixture of residences and businesses. I was surprised that Google would take me this way, there were not many sidewalks; I had chosen the walk symbol after all.

I eventually emerged from an alley as a motorist passed my way giving me a puzzled look. Taking a second to catch my breath I looked across and down the street a bit, my heart joyful as I noticed the rear entrance to the grounds of the Cathedral. There was a fence that bordered the area, distinguishing a place that was well cared for and cherished.

The grounds of St. Patrick’s Cathedral were pristine and inviting. Candy for the eye, attractive to the visual senses. The exquisitely manicured lawn was decorated with flowers and hedges that were placed in appealing locations, bright red and yellow buds. A fountain was set in the midst of the park area, simple yet inviting. Trees lined the outside border by the black fence, varying shades of green leaves gently nodding in the air.

I arrived moments late for the service but as I took my place in the chapel I was greeted with friendly glances from other sojourners. Although I had never been there before, there was a sense of togetherness as we worshiped in the old stone church. The Anglican service was unfamiliar to me as well, but the Biblical truths that were spoken resounded with the Spirit. It was a moving service that left me with an overwhelming sense of belonging, despite being in a foreign country.

As I walked back to my hotel after the services, I contemplated the days experience. The misguided faith I had in my own directions found me traversing some questionable roads to be sure. And I wondered how many times I do this in my own life, how many choices have we all made so sure that it was the right one, before we thought to consult God? He is the ultimate resource, always available and ready to listen. In Psalm 25:12 we are given encouragement in this point. It is written, “Who, then, are those who fear the Lord? He will instruct them in the ways they should choose.”

Find some time today to meditate on these words. Take heart, breath in and let the Holy Spirit fill you with the wisdom that you seek. Wait patiently on God’s direction and you will thrive!

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