Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Life Lessons are Often Steps of Faith/MANN

Recently, while returning to Ontario from Alberta, I listened to an audio book by Richard Paul Evans, entitled, A Step of Faith. Evans has a skill of introducing his reader to the main characters various experiences as he walked across the United States, encountering and reflecting on lessons in life. In many ways, I identified with this book, as I thought about the past two weeks, renewing acquaintances, meeting new people, and enjoying more than one surprise of unexpected emotions. Each day offered life-lessons in some way.
Situations such as driving too late, making it difficult to find accommodations; eating too much late in the day risking loss of sleep; failing to keep the cooler stocked causing lack of healthy snacks continued to test our choices. These may seem like trite cause-and-effect situations, but they were vital to the peace and harmony of two people in the enclosed space of a van. In addition, I was often reminded of Dr. Phil’s repetitive question, “How’s that working for you?” after we’d made particular decisions or choices.
Exploring potential lessons of life through various encounters, relationships, weather conditions, even road-construction made the trip interesting in the midst of what might seem at times, tedious or mundane. Husband Doug, is an excellent driver and never shares this responsibly with me—probably easier for both of us.
A statement from A Step of faith resonated with me: “The strength of a friendship can be measured by the weight of the burden it is willing to share. To test it, just ask someone to help you move.” This short quote works in a variety of circumstances—you could change the last word “to travel across Canada, wallpaper a room together or give your wife driving lessons.” A valuable life-lesson in caring and supportive ways is being conscious of one another’s needs while traveling.
I was amazed at the similarities that I experienced in comparison to Richard Paul Evans’ character: travelling outside a group, staying with people or on our own, accepting assistance, acknowledging challenges, allowing surprises, and accepting the unknown and the unexpected. The routine of asking God for travelling mercies and God’s blessing at meal times was important in the midst of making choices on the walk without the usual familiarity of technology, favourite chair and the expected resources we have our fingertips. As the days and the miles disappeared behind us, our feelings of becoming a nomad increased and the familiarity of home faded as a new dependency of God’s care developed.
My purpose in going west was to introduce and promote a book set in this town where we had once lived. Life-lessons wove through my every day experiences as I renewed friendships, explored the prairie town, walked in the cemetery, talked to the people and sat on the church steps. Put together, it helped me to reflect on the many life-lessons these folks had initiated while encouraging and contributing to the book.
Acknowledging a lesson and unpacking it to carry us through the rest of the journey . . . is holy ground.
A Rare Find: Ethel Ayres Bullymore - Legend of an Epic Canadian Midwife coming in mid fall
Aggie's Voice: The Victory Year coming in early fall


Peter Black said...

Welcome home, Donna! I'm glad you had a wonderful visit and stroll down memory lane and safe travelling.
Thanks for sharing your inspiration from your reading of Richard Paul Evans' book, and the lesson gleaned. ~~+~~

Carolyn R. Wilker said...

I have read two of Evans' books about the walk and found the same.
Funny how we look at things differently when we're travelling. Glad you had a good trip and it served you well.

Donna Mann said...

Thanks for your comments. This was the book that was loaned to me while travelling - I'm so glad I picked up on it.

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