tonight we leave on a little trip. i'm excited and apprehensive at the same time. excited because we're taking the first leg of our trip on the train (i love to travel by train, and it's been a long time since we've taken a train ride), we're visiting one of my favorite cities (chicago), we'll see lots of amazing architecture (first an architectural tour on the chicago river, then some frank lloyd wright creations in wisconsin that i've never seen in person), we'll get to see some new countryside (we've never spent time in wisconsin, only passed through it), we get to hear one of my former students perform as soloist with his university orchestra, and finally i get lots of leisure time with my wife. apprehensive because we have to negotiate the "el" in chicago (despite my careful research, i fear we'll take the wrong line and lose lots of time), we have a tight schedule while in chicago so everything has to work together or we'll miss out on getting to our tour on time or picking up our rental car before the office closes.
even as i write about my apprehensions, i realize that they're imaginary worries. if something goes wrong, it's not really wrong. the day is a gift and things that are "wrong" usually lead to something that's "right," just not what is planned. so my "apprehensions" are really opportunities for adventure--maybe hopping on the wrong el train will show us something we haven't seen before, maybe missing our rental car deadline will lead to extra time in chicago. none of the "bad" things that could happen are disastrous, so now i'm excited and looking forward to an adventure!
i read the story of the miraculous feeding of the five thousand in all four gospels this morning. two things struck me: first, Jesus and the disciples had gone to someplace remote for a quiet time together, but, when thousands of people showed up, Jesus welcomed them. second, Jesus taught us that out of our need, God provides abundance. knowing how to make the most of what we have is a great thing to learn. we need to be content with our five loaves and two fish, rather than grasping for a banquet that won't satisfy us.
may each of our lives be abundant, may we be content with what we have and embrace the gifts of the present, and may we each have adventures to look forward to.