Monday, January 20, 2014

Nudges.....aka Cool Runnings (Peace in the Journey)

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” – St. Augustine

Welcome to sunset on Ocracoke Island.  This was one of my favorite pictures from yesterday, and one of the few I got on Ocracoke, which has been the only disappointing part of this journey so far.

And, in honor of MLK day, one of my favorite things I saw in a required work class:

Wondering about the title?  Well,  I started a post yesterday, but it was not this post.  Throughout the day, other things came up, some of which I had meant to write about before, and some of which were what started this whole journey, so here we are.....

Did you see the movie, Cool Runnings, about the Jamaican bobsled team?  Did you know that they are back at the Olympics this year after being out for about 10 years?  Good movie, great story.  At one point, they name the sled Cool Runnings, which the captain says means, "Peace be the Journey."  Well, one thing I learned a LONG time ago is that the journey is not always peaceful, so I changed it to "Peace be IN the journey", and it is my general note for when I need to write/say something to someone, but I don't have the words.  What does this have to do with this journey that I'm on now?  I have found peace in all of this journey as I listen to the little "nudges" when they come.  I call it God, you can call it whatever you want, but please stick with me on this, because the story is an important one, and it really was the beginning......

About 6 - 7 months ago, I was in a rut in between travel times.  Didn't have enough PAL time to take a break and run away for any length of time after Abu Dhabi, and had plans to go to Canada in August.  A little thought popped into my head that I should take a year off and travel.  At first, I dismissed it.  How do you take a year off?  What does life look like when you come back?  When the thought kept popping up, I started answering those questions, and found that it was feasible.  Not easy, but feasible.  And, things just started falling into place.  Fast forward 6 (or 7) months.  During that time, I continued to follow nudges which kept pushing me in this direction.  I start my trip.  A half day later than planned, but I start it.  And the little nudges keep coming.  Where I should go next, what I should do.  And, of course, I can say no to those nudges, but I have found that even when they seem like a bad idea at first, those nudges have great (and good) final consequences.  Did you see the movie "Yes Man"?  It's kind of like that.   Take Jonah, for instance.  He was given a nudge, a pretty big nudge.  Which he ignored.  And then he got swallowed by a whale.  :-)  But, another for instance, are little choices/nudges that we can ignore.  A while back, I saw a link to something on Facebook, My husband is not my soulmate.  And, I have to say, I completely disagree with the premise.  No, I don't live my life based on the "I know the plans I have for you" verse, but I do know that God cares about my life in general, and that I can make decisions that are based on that.  There are not so good decisions, which seemed good/fun at the time, but lead to bad places, there are good decisions, but there was a better one if I had waited, and then there are the Best decisions, the nudges.  When people choose a spouse, if they are the type that there whole goal in life is to settle down and have kids, they might choose the first person that offers that to them.  This can, of course, be a very bad decision.  Or, they could be like my sweet friend, who thought she had found The One, and it was a person who she was compatible with, and they probably would be perfectly happy being married, but she heard the "No" when she spoke with God about it, and she followed that no, and she probably wouldn't be where she is now if she hadn't, which is truly the best place for her at the moment.  See, there are 2 problems people run into.  They don't listen to the "No" that they hear, because it's something that they don't want to hear, and 2, they say no to a yes, usually because of fear.  Like I said, I said no at first when I was called to a sabbatical, but I did not entirely reject it, and when the Yes kept coming, I began to pursue it and found that it led to a good place.  So, the interesting morning yesterday that brought all this up again for me was that the last few months, I have been called to worship.  I went back to my church.  I've been enjoying both the worship and the fellowship, and wasn't sure what that was going to look like on the road.  Yesterday morning, I passed about 10 churches as I was wandering around seeing things.  And, part of my goal has been to visit churches, so I kept wanting to just stop and make a decision, but something didn't see right.  I had passed this place called, Jockey Shores, on the way to watch the sun rise over the ocean, but it was closed, and I hadn't planned on going back to it.  Spent some time at the Aquarium, and there were only a few other people there that early on a Sunday, and one of them mentioned that just yesterday they had been there, and it had high sand dunes, and was a definite place to visit.  It was just a few miles in the opposite direction of where I was headed, so decided to go back.  And, on my way there, I saw a church just before it that started in a little over half an hour, that I had not noticed before, and got a big YES!!! And I stopped in and was a part of an amazing worship service.  It was exactly what I needed.  Life is good.  God is good.  All the time.  Even when things are hard, even when they don't go the way we planned, even though it may seem like we are totally lost.  Peace be in the journey.  The journey is not the important part.  It's the peace that we find there.

Anyways, enough lecturing.  I will get to the post about where I've been, what I've seen, and some fun adventures along the way soon.... :-)

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