March 24, 2011

March 24: Seeking our destination

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By Vicky Kirkton, associate professor of nursing
SCRIPTURE: Romans 5:1-11 (NRSV)
Scroll down for complete Scripture.

DEVOTIONAL:
Once when I arrived at the airport in Washington, D.C., to attend a professional conference, I had plenty of time and decided to get to my hotel via the city transit system. I had been to this conference many times and felt confident that I could navigate my way around. So, I asked which bus I should take to get to the Fairmont Hotel and as I boarded I was pleased that I had chosen this route because I could save the extra cost of a cab or a shuttle.

I continued to ride for about 45 minutes as people got on and off the bus, and we made numerous stops along the way. It seemed to me that we were traveling further away from the center of the city, and so I decided to ask the driver if this was the bus to the Fairmont Hotel. He informed me that I needed to get off at the next stop and take the next bus that stopped there. I continued to ride a variety of buses taking directions from the drivers about which bus would get me to my destination. After about four hours I was beginning to get weary and concerned that I was not going to reach my destination.

I found myself standing on an unfamiliar street corner in Washington, D.C., and I began to fear that I wasn’t going to find my destination. I decided to ask the lady standing next to me if this bus would take me to the Fairmont Hotel. She took one look at me and said “follow me.” We walked almost out to the middle of the street, she waived down a cab and aggressively told the cab driver, “Take this lady directly to the front of the Fairmont Hotel and do not leave until she is safely inside.” I thanked her and asked her if could give her some money for helping me. She looked at me and said, “Honey, I am an angel sent from God, now go on your way.” Ten minutes later, I arrived at the front door of the hotel.

Often on this journey of life, we try to find our own way. Many times we just cannot find it, and neither the transit nor the streets get us to our destination. The blessings of being in a relationship with God are always there but we think we have to figure it out on our own and that we know the way. And occasionally in these situations, God sends an angel to set us on the right path or give us direction in our despair and suffering. As we begin to experience a right relationship with God we can experience the peace, joy and hope like “water” in our spiritual quest for growth. May this Lenten season provide you the destination that is filled with these blessings from God!

SCRIPTURE: Romans 5:1-11 (NRSV)
1Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. 3And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us. 6For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7Indeed, rarely will anyone die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person someone might actually dare to die. 8But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us. 9Much more surely then, now that we have been justified by his blood, will we be saved through him from the wrath of God. 10For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, much more surely, having been reconciled, will we be saved by his life. 11But more than that, we even boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

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Comments (13)

  1. A helpful meditation, indeed. Of course, in as much as I’m from DC, my take on your experience is this: Gd was with you every second of the four hours, trying to say to you: “My dear child, you deserve so much better than the Fairmont Hotel. If you insist on public transport, please consider the trains. But next year, do not hesitate to stay in one of DC’s starred hotels!”

    There’s probably more Me in those words than Gd, but true words, still.

    Thanks for your piece.
    P Abraham

    Philip Carter Abraham March 24, 2011 |
  2. Just what I needed to hear this morning! And isn’t it almost always “unexpected” (angels?) that direct us?

    Karen Flaherty March 24, 2011 |
  3. Wonderful message! Gods is good!

    jennifer March 24, 2011 |
  4. I love her line: “Honey, I’m an angel sent from God.” Would it be presumptuous of me to use it? I want to say it so much, I know it will help me find people in need.

    Great story, lovely concept. Thank you.

    Maureen Nalezny March 24, 2011 |
  5. What a great story! It makes the point well. Yes, too often we depend upon our own selves when we need to depend upon God. Thank goodness God saves us from ourselves!

    Nancy B March 24, 2011 |
  6. Vicky, You have no idea how important these words are not only for me, but for one of my students who is in a tough spot in his life. Thanks for the redirection!

    Arlene Steffen March 24, 2011 |
  7. Thanks, Vicky, for sharing with us that interesting
    anecdote from your own experience. I, too, have
    experienced the kindness of strangers when stranded
    some place and I know how grateful you must have felt!

    Loretta Yoder Ostojic March 24, 2011 |
  8. Your story brought tears to my eyes. Thanks for sharing it.

    Ruth H. March 24, 2011 |
  9. I wish it was that easy sometimes, having an angel of God direct us in which way to go. With my own problems I know the way I have to go, if I let God direct me- but how do I sit still and hear God or an angel of God when it comes to my aging parents and their stubborn ways? I continue to pray for peace in this issue.

    Laurie March 24, 2011 |
  10. Dear Vicki,

    Thank you for taking the time to write and to share.
    Is it not a providential glory when our lives are touched
    by such an encounter.

    Barbara and I are friends of Annabelle and Robert Lerch,
    50 year anniversary graduates of Goshen, parents of
    Laura and Randy Horst, of your fine arts faculty, and
    grandparents of several present students.

    Best regards,

    Larry Van Genderen
    Jackson, WY

    L. Van Genderen M.D. March 24, 2011 |
  11. We become angels when we help a stranger and no angel does it for money. We all lose direction sometimes in our overly keen desire to be independent, but we are all in this together and the grace of God sustains us.
    Thank you for a fine meditation.

    marjorie March 24, 2011 |
  12. What a wonderful analogy! Thanks Vikki for your words or truth and encouragement.

    Kay Shue March 24, 2011 |
  13. Your devotional is inspiring, Vicki. Thank you!

    Ethel Umble March 27, 2011 |