The sign announces the unexpected delay. 3pm ferry full. 4pm, 76% full.
Windows rolled down, we join a long line of parked minivans and smartcars and campers, wondering whether we’ll make it back in time for my friend’s evening class.
The ferry departs, a half hour late, and around us engines roar to life, individuals and families preparing to move through the tolls and take their place in the next set of lines. We fasten our seatbelts, attempt to follow. Instead we wait (again) for the man in the yellow vest to arrive with the jumper cables. Cars pull around us, each grabbing a precious bit of space on the next ferry.
I can’t help but chuckle as I see the quote on the CD jacket:
“You may be sure the Landlord has brought you the shortest way; though I confess it would look an odd journey on a map.” (The Guide, speaking to pilgrim John in “The Pilgrim’s Regress” by C.S. Lewis)
And I wonder to the One who holds my hand: “Abba, how often do I make the journey miserable chafing at ‘delays’ when You’re leading me by the most direct route to our true destination? Or guiding me slowly, arm around my shoulders, by a smoother route that won’t lame my weak knees or fracture my aching heart? Or taking my hand to skip along the scenic route past all Your favorite spots that You long to share with me?”
My life's had its share of "odd journeys," and I've worried and fretted my way through most of them.
I wait for words which won't come, and the thoughts race and the muscles tighten and could this familiar rising of anxiety become a friend? Could the tightening shoulders, the hands grasping for control be a gentle tap on the shoulder, a reminder to look up from the mess into the smiling eyes of Jesus? "Honey. . . did you forget?" There's always the possibility of softening. Smiling back. Letting Him take my hands and turn the delay into a moment to sneak an extra kiss. It's then that He whispers the freeing secret, the secret which He lived. I don't have to be in control, because my Abba is. And He loves me.
"But I’ll take the hand of those who don’t know the way,
who can’t see where they’re going.
I’ll be a personal guide to them,
directing them through unknown country.
I’ll be right there to show them what roads to take,
make sure they don’t fall into the ditch.
These are the things I’ll be doing for them—
sticking with them, not leaving them for a minute.”
(Isaiah 42:16, The Message)