The Choices of Grace

Today’s travel was harrowing, watching other people break down, coming upon a wreck just a after it happened, the intense heat and of course the traffic going through Pasadena. It did however cause me to reflect on how Abba not only promises to order our steps but to guard them as well. There are always decisions in life and our life at this time is faced with a plethora of choices: which road to take, where to stop, when to stop, do a partial set-up or full one, what to eat (heating the trailer right now is a big concern), what time is best to leave…these are just travel choices the really hard ones are concerning where those choices are leading us. We are dedicated to the ministry Abba has called us to; we are always looking for grace points yet there are times it seems the wise choice is contrary to the practical one. Last night we stayed in San Bernardino, we had decided there based on temps (needed to get away from the desert, I know you may say isn’t most of Cali a desert?), distance from where we’d stopped the night before and available RV Parks with shade. RV parks are plentiful but finding shade in most of them is not. We had searched on line and found one in San Bernardino boasting mature foliage (big trees), gated, close to Costco, Panera, Walmart…We were not concerned with the shopping but shade and being gated usually means a nicer park. There were trees and yes it was only three miles from the named shopping availability, it was gated (a gate which remained closed at all times if not in use), it was clean enough so what was the issue? The area of town where it was located was not only undesirable but dangerous, everything was walled, gated and locked down, the only gas station we saw had a fence around it with only one smallish gate for entrance and exit. If we had not pushed so hard the first few days, if the heat hadn’t taken its toll we would have probably pressed on to find something else. It helped that Pat the guy next to where we were going to park came out and chatted, moving his car and basically guiding Dave in his backing into the spot. I could drone on about the difficulties there but you get the picture. Then I met Nora, our neighbor on the other side from Pat. Nora looked fifty but was seventy two, her husband had been dead for 24 years, they had pastored a small church in L.A. while he was alive. She lived alone, she was full of vigor and laughter, she was content. I did not hear one complaint from her and we bonded instantly. She was so on board with our mission, agreeing the church needs to get out of the church and get in the streets. I was encouraged by her and her by me and both of us by the goodness of our Savior. I realized I so wanted to say that making the choice to stay in San Bernardino was a misstep, we should have found out more about the area but then I wouldn’t have met Nora. There are many times I want to say, we shouldn’t have…but then we wouldn’t have… The conundrum of grace: following Him no matter where He leads, no matter how uncomfortable you are, no matter how challenging a situation you find yourself in, so that you may touch the one He is intent upon touching.

 


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