I don't know about you, but I get a little frustrated with obstacles. (My Honey would say that's probably the biggest understatement of the century.)
Some hurdles are expected and though they still slow me down I seem to find perseverance in the midst of the extra effort they require.
The challenges that really get to me are the ones that seem to pop up out of no where. I feel like I'm sailing along in the flow of life and BAM a collection of unexpected barriers confront me.
Take a recent Sunday for instance. We went out the door on time all dressed and enthusiastic about gathering to worship God. When we came up from the metro and turned down the street this is what we found. We stopped short and stood still, wondering what to do.
The sign says CHODNÍK UZAVŘEN* but it wasn't any help because we can't read Czech. Well, we could pronounce the words. It was their meaning that escaped us.
We were not in a casual wandering mode. We needed to get around the corner to the left to meet Tram 17 which was about to arrive any minute. If we missed it, we'd be late to church. How were we supposed to negotiate this gauntlet?
My Honey is a man of considered action, especially when it concerns faith issues. No such flimsy hindrance was going to make him late for corporate worship. He stepped off the curb and walked right around the whole mess. I, in my ongoing need for practice in yielding, ignored that shiny yellow walkway and followed him into the roadway and up to the street light.
When we were back on track I turned around and looked back at the hazards we'd just avoided. It was an ugly set of dirty holes and ugly pipes not to mention the protruding stones. I seemed to see the safety fences and temporary walkway for the first time. Oh well, I thought. They did set up a sorta detour. That's a relief. But my Honey took me on an alternate route that got me where I needed to be without crossing a harrowing obstacle course.
Today I look at this picture and wonder how many times I've faced similar trials - an unforeseen hindrance appears and I feel overwhelmed by the apparent mine field before me. I know the shock itself throws me off balance.
I ponder further about how my life would change if I would repeat my actions of that day - ignore the manmade detour and relax into the God-directed path.
"Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed." 1 Peter 4:12-13 NIV 1984
PS That's my shadow at the bottom of the photo.
PPS We made it to Tram 17 and arrived on time.
*I now know the sign said SIDEWALKS CLOSED.