Just returned from a fabulous Italian getaway. Italy was...............different. Incredible that a 1-1/2 hour plane ride can land you in a COMPLETELY different culture. The Italian (shall we say) relaxed way of life, in my opinion, is the alter ego of structured and regimented life here in Germany. Like night and day. And really, American culture is a happy medium between the two. More details to come in tomorrow's Traveling Tuesday.
I took photo after photo of ancient ruins and quiet Italian village streets. Love them! We visited little neighborhoods not frequented often by tourists. We spent endless hours looking at a map, waiting for buses or trains or subways. Some of which never showed up at all. (Public transportation strikes apparently happen all the time in Italy.) Frustration emerged often when our plans were thwarted by unforeseen circumstances. As I think back though, the trip itself was just one microcosm of everyday life. Questions bubble to the surface. How flexible are we really? A military family's life is one of changing plans and just change in general. We are forced to constantly look again at the map, always alert to the street signs pointing our direction. We look for the right door. The one that He's leading us through. And more often than not, it doesn't look like what we thought it would.
Toward the end of our trip, we were rudely interrupted (via blackberry email) with news of our probable next assignment. Nothing like being violently sucked back into the military world of planning for a PCS move and boxes from the surf and sand on a Mediterranean beach. Our heads suddenly were atwirl with what-ifs and timetables and financial questions etc., etc. AAAAaaaagh!!! So many unknowns still. We wait on HIM to quietly lead. Looking for the right decisions for our family.
Life rarely happens like we think it will. The events usually don't line up predictably on our 'life map.' And isn't that His truth ALWAYS? Even with His birth story, it didn't happen like we all expected. Not a grand royal entrance, but instead He came amid a quiet scene in a rustic cave for stinky farm animals. Almost everyone missed it, except for those few shepherds who were looking. I'm terrified to miss HIS BEST. I don't want to miss the right door. The one He's showing us.
One sunny day, as we searched for the next gelato stop, we came upon this doorway, and the words above it caught my eye. It wasn't connected to the awe inspiring St. Peter's Basilica, or the Vatican, or the Colosseum. It just sat on a quiet backstreet. We almost missed it.