Have you ever plotted your life journey on a map?
I’ve done it a couple of times in the classroom. My students and I were once reading a book about a girl who had lived all over the country with her job-hopping aunt. We plotted her life, and then I plotted mine via GoogleMaps to show them the journey.
My St. Louis, Missouri students always thought I was making up the fact that I grew up in St. Louis, Michigan and that I went to St. Louis High School. So, I always had to prove to them that it did exist.
This morning I was reading about the travels of Paul, Silas, and Timothy. My Bible study had me combing through Acts to plot a portion of their journey on a Biblical map. It’s pretty incredible, actually. Their commitment to share the Gospel had them trekking all over the countryside with no help from Expedia or Hotwire. And, often, they were chased out of town by a violent mob, or worse, tossed in the slammer for a while.
I wouldn’t say my journey has been that dramatic. I am going to try to share a link to a map I created this morning that shows all the places I have lived in my just under fifty years*. There are twelve points on the map representing the different towns/cities I have lived in. Within those cities and towns I have lived in multiple houses.
The point of the Bible study was to look at how God had nudged or shoved each of us through our decisions. How he had orchestrated my life journey. So, I got a bit introspective. I got to thinking that any little change along the way could have reconfigured my whole life. Have you ever thought about that?
What if my parents had not divorced, and we had moved with my dad to Indiana? How might my life be different?
What if I hadn’t transferred from Michigan State to Concordia so long ago?
What if my husband and I had not resigned our positions and moved to be closer to our son?
What if we had chosen to not go to the Seminary with three school-aged children?
What if he had not accepted this call back to Michigan?
So much would be different! With any of those choices or so many other decisions, the trajectory would have been altered dramatically!
But, God allowed this journey. He placed me in a loving family that has now stretched from coast to coast. He gave me lifelong friends from each location along the way. He shaped me through my experiences as a student, a teacher, a mother, a wife. He has led us from one step through the next, all the while shielding and protecting us.
And through all the moves and transitions in my life, I (and you) have been sitting right in the palm of His hand. It is mind-boggling. I wouldn’t change one step.
A person’s steps are directed by the Lord…