Have you ever given thought as to how you would die? Strange thought to have I suppose, unless you are used to getting yourself into not so promising situations.
I have thought about how I would die. I can only assume it would be in a prison of a foreign country for speaking my mind, or stumbling upon some drug deal. Maybe in a waterfall of bullets as I storm a Cambodian Brothel. Anyway, most would seem adventurous.. till the death part.
So today, I was having some meetings with Pastors about having a ‘Family (of God) Reunion. It’s shockingly difficult in places that I had assumed going in would have been a breeze. Aside from each church trying to poach me, I was feeling discouraged about the thought that it seems like they are doing their best to make me think they are with me, while not being with me at all.
I enjoy being led on just as much as any woman. So I thought a distraction would be nice. A ride around town of sorts. Hopping on my ‘trying-to-be-cool’ Vespa, I made my way around the city. I was praying for my heart and for the heat. For the lost and especially for the found. Then something unexpected happened. I somehow stumbled across a path I hadn’t traveled. My town is not big, and I have been here many a year, so it was the most remarkable thing. Not only was it a road that I hadn’t been on, but it led to a nature hike I don’t think had a name! The curiosity welled up inside me and I decided to scope it out. Walking maybe a quarter of a mile down, the concrete path connected with a grassy path leading into the forest that I was sure couldn’t exist inside the city.
Because I took Robert Frost to heart when I read him, I decided to take that slightly beaten path. I was greeted with small rabbits hopping in front of me and the distinct smell of naturally grown trees. I could hear a small river or water flowing somewhere through the leaves. Instantly I was sent back in time and I became Elizabeth Bennet, thinking about her life and all the things inside and going-ons. I kept glancing around wondering if some gentleman would be walking around as well with a letter addressed for me. Maybe even wearing riding pants. Because a girl can dream.. Especially when she is in the middle of a forest. The path broke into a couple paths, and suddenly I was besotted. Each choice I made was met with a new adventure and I was reveling in it.
I turned down a path suddenly and was met with something I did not expect. It was what seemed to be a housing area consisting of tents and buckets and food. In this hidden part of the wood, a group of someone’s were living. From everything I could ascertain, I was alone in these woods with my thoughts and Jesus. There were bikes resting on the trees and blankets carefully tossed over tree trunks. Awe turned to concern as I realized that I wasn’t sure where I was or who lived in this area. And on top of that, no one knew where I was. I decided to head off into adventure like I always do, without a plan and not thinking about the consequences.
This is when I questioned how I would die. Because in the middle of the woods alone without a soul around you (THAT YOU KNOW OF) is what starts off every horror movie. And it really would have been all my fault. What wise person decides to first, take a bike ride without a friend. Then, that same unwise person decides to head into a wood that she had never before laid eyes on. If my life was a movie, this would be the part where you might start yelling at the screen “Don’t go in there!!” Yet I would still go. And take a picture. Because a journalistic heart never fails.. until she dies..
The fact that the majority of my “adventure” stories do not end horribly can only be evidence that there is a Holy God who loves me and wants to take care of me, in the midst of my stupidity. How else would I have been there alone? No one just leaves their bikes alone unless they have another mode of transpiration. And I didn’t see any hoof prints in the sand. How else would I have found the path that led me out of the woods, after taking more twists and turns than even Hansel and Gretel would have figured out. Because there is someone who watches my steps, and is beside me in every one.
I am so grateful for Jesus continually stepping in, because I know in my flesh, I want to go back. Someone yell at the tv screen now. Yet I now feel like I need to know these people. Clearly stumbling upon a homeless community is not the best way to make a first impression. However, now that I know this exists, I can do something. Like bake bread and take it to them. Or buy it.. Then the kitchen won’t burn down.
If I could figure out a moral or a lesson in my life, I would tell ya. All I can say for sure is that God is my protector, and he gives me the boldness to take on adventures, but also the grace to pick me up from my own choices.