Did I Miss Something?

This week, my oldest son (OS) is peddling himself happy in another country.  He’s spending 5 days cycling and camping – “A good way to see the countryside”, he says.  I don’t disagree.  At the end of his first day of travel, he called to fill me in on some details.  He said he started out a little later than he had hoped, but that he began his trek with prayer that went something like this:  “Lord, you know where I’d like to go today, but you also know that I am directionally challenged.  Please help guide me safely to my destination by nightfall.  Amen.”  Thirty minutes later, he came upon three cyclists who were taking a water break on the side of the bike path.  Noticing their maps, OS asked, “Where are you heading today?”  To his surprise and delight, they were going to the same destination!

As OS began to tell me about the rest of his day’s journey, I couldn’t move forward in the story with him.  Instead, I began to question:

ME:  Wait a minute!  So you just tagged along with these three strangers for the rest of the day?

OS:  Well, yeah.

ME:  !!! Did you get to know them?  I mean, talk to them?  Who were they?  (I was trying to hold down the scorn in my voice for his “talking to strangers in a strange land.  I know he’s a missionary – that’s a whole other blog).

OS:  We didn’t really have time to talk because we were riding…

ME:  (interrupting him) What!?  So you don’t even know who they are?

OS:  Mom, listen, it was okay.  They’re government employees.

ME:  Government employees?

OS:  Yeah.  One actually holds a pretty prominent position.  He’s the assistant to the president, or something like that.

ME:  !!! You mean [Mr. Jon Doe]?

OS:  YES!  That’s him!

ME:  Are you kidding me!?  You were bike riding with [Mr. Jon Doe], the Assistant to the President?!

OS:  Yeah, so anyway, we rode about 50 more miles….

ME:  (interrupting again) Hello?  Do you know how cool that is that you were with HIM?  Do you know how amazing that is?

OS:  Mom, YEAH, but let me tell you about the rest of the day.

ME:  Okay (in a voice that said, “well, okay, but it will have to be fancy to top that news”).

As OS began to tell me the details of the rest of his day, I still couldn’t get my head to hear much beyond what he had already told me.  Instead, I was thinking about the incredible circumstance that put him in the presence of such people.  So, I interrupted him, yet again:

ME:  Wait a minute – did you get his email address, or any way of keeping in touch with him?

OS:  No, mom, but it’s okay.  He doesn’t know my name, either.

OS eventually got to finish telling me about his first day’s travel.  He described the beautiful countryside, the gentleness of the townspeople he encountered, and the cheap dinner he had before setting up camp. Through it all, nothing seemed to minimize the fact of whom he had met and followed earlier in the day, in my eyes.  It wasn’t until the next morning, when reflecting on the conversation, that I realized something huge.  TREMENDOUS!  Really, really big.  I had missed the most true, wonderful gift of OS’s first day’s journey:  the blessing of his answered prayer.  The guidance from God.

PRAISE GOD for answered prayers!  What had OS started his day with?  Prayer.  Specific prayer.  And an answer, albeit decorated with a prominent name on what I’m sure was an incredibly loaded, aerodynamic road bike, was provided!  Our Savior had shown up in full-force to answer the prayers of my son.  “Ta-daaaaa!”  And I missed how incredible that was because I got caught up in the details.

How often do I overlook or give little emphasis to the Lord, when he blesses me in ways that I could easily recognize, if I would look upward from, instead of into, the details?

It’s so easy to get caught up in the daily rush, the stress of daily life – paying bills, making money to pay bills, ushering our children to school, grocery shopping, and on and on and on – it’s easy to become distracted or pre-occupied and miss all the blessings that are provided along our pathways.

Did I miss something?

Almost.  Thanks to our Heavenly Father and his guidance in my life, I didn’t, this time.  But I sure came close.  🙂

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