Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Just When I Need . . .

my wife and i have just returned from europe, where we spent time in germany, italy, and austria, as well as making one very quick trip into the czech republic.  we traveled with another couple, and i had planned to continue posting to my blog on the tuesdays we were traveling.  our circumstances didn't allow that; sometimes we had little or no internet access, sometimes our apartments didn't allow the privacy i needed, and often i was so tired that i didn't have the energy to stay up late or get up early to write.  as we went along, i thought frequently about the need to write about an experience, so today i will tell about one of the people we met along the way.

it was my job to plann our trip, figuring out all the train connections, securing seat reservations when needed, finding apartments, ordering rail and transit passes, booking tours.  i felt a great responsibility for the success of the trip and found myself worrying about the details as we traveled.  when we needed to travel to munich to catch our train to rome after staying in a small southern bavarian town the first few days of the trip, we were to arrive at the munich station on a small regional train and find our train to rome within only fifteen minutes.  as we approached munich a young man sitting accross the aisle from me asked where we were from, and this led to a conversation about our trip and his studies to complete a degree in psychology.  when he learned i was anxious about finding our train in the large, unfamiliar station, he offered to escort us, as he had a longer wait for his next train and was well acquainted with the munich hauptbahnhof.  what a wonderful sense of relief his offer was!  i had worried throughout the preceding night about catching the train to rome.  it was a popular route, seat reservations were hard to come by and expensive, and missing the train would have made us arrive in rome late in the evening.  as he walked with my wife through the train station, the rest of us trailing behind with our luggage, he told her that he was grateful that he had run into us, because he had a chance to practice his english with americans, a rare opportunity for him, and we were certainly grateful that he was there just when we needed his help.  even with his guidance, we just made our train.  had he not appeared and made his offer, we would never have made the train.

once we settled in to our seats, my wife and i said in the same breath, "that young man was an answer to prayer--an angel placed in our path."  this experience was repeated often on our trip, and in my next post, i'll write about a young man we met on the train to rome.  i often think that we shouldn't ask god to help solve the petty problems of our day to day lives, and i seldom pray for such help.  even without praying for help in making our train connection, i realized that God was present, probably chuckling over my anxious, fretting mind and wondering why i didn't simply trust that when help was needed it would be provided, even without asking for it.

so often this is the case in our lives.  my prayer for each of us this day is that we learn that God is alway present in each moment, always ready to give us the help we need, and sometimes providing help we didn't expect through circumstances that don't go as we had hoped and planned.  shalom.

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