LISBON - MADRID - BILBAO
Long days of travel are what make a pilgrimage contemplative. Having prayed for destinations but not booking anything adds a complexity layer that I am enjoying very much.
Last night at dinner, having an impromptu sing-along of Our Lady of Knock Queen of Peace with 15+ Irish men, women, and children, I was told my travel style was definitely Irish. I took great pride in knowing my ancestry remained loud in my soul.
“Faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1
My parents will be the first to confirm that I am an untethered soul. I have a sense of God’s abiding presence in my life, and, through getting to know the me He created versus the one I was creating, I am deeply drawn to the unfolding of events, feelings, and actions.
There was a time in my life when I had to know everything, and if I wasn’t getting the answers I wanted, then I either took control over the situation or extricated myself. While it may have made me an expert at getting results, looking back, I missed out on a lot, mostly what God wanted for me.
Who would I be today if I knew how much Jesus would play a role in my life and let Him use me as an instrument of his will? My relationship with Jesus used to be he is over there, and I am over here. I thought I was using the skills he provided me and making things happen because of this. When in truth, I was shutting Him out, running ahead, and telling Him what to do. (Hello Martha)
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, on your own intelligence do not rely; In all your ways be mindful of him, and he will make straight your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6
There are many struggles I face in my daily life when confronted with worldly things. I tell myself to trust God to lead me in a direction that will benefit His desires. This way of thinking may conflict with what the world expects, what my friends and family want or expect; however, it is the only thing I am willing to do. When I am drawn in directions that take me away from His grace, I pray with great intensity to be shielded and given the wisdom to auto-correct. It gets easier every time I step away from Him to recognize it and move quickly back. Then again, it can sometimes be really hard, like when a stunningly handsome, very tall, dark-haired Italian man sits next to me on the plane and looks at me with his piercing blue eyes and is so wonderfully charming; I have to remind myself to keep my thoughts chaste. By grace alone, that delightful quality of being unable to stay awake on a plane kicked in, and our Lord put me to sleep. Voila, internal sin was averted. Lucky for him because he would be so heartsick in love with me had I dazzled him with my witty banter. (Haha)
“Remember not the events of the past, the things of long ago consider not; See, I am doing something new! Now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? In the wilderness I make a way, in the wasteland, rivers. The people whom I formed for myself, that they might recount my praise.” Psalms 43:18-19,21
When I look at my soul without God, it is truly a wasteland—filled with useless things and pointless actions. The spring that bubbles deep within my being leads my untethered joyful soul to Him.