You know how it is when things don’t go according to plan?
My trip to the Oregon Christian Writers’ Conference in Portland began as a true adventure. I started out in my economical summer car – Ruby Focus. I drove out of town and my dashboard lights flashed, “Low tire pressure! Fix me! Fix me!”
I drove the hour to Ritzville (a short stop in my seven-hour journey for the day) and a very nice young man at the truck stop there helped me discover a flat nail butted up tight on the side of my rear tire. A slow leak.
“You can probably get home with it, but I wouldn’t go any further,” said he.
Further? Like six more hours? And I had to turn around and go home? REALLY?
But the only choice was to re-drive my first lap. So, I did.
Maybe I’m still on the difficult road.
At home, I transferred all my conference stuff and bags into 25-year-old Bessie Explorer, who had NOT been planning on making a long trip. But Bessie rose to the occasion and off we went. For seven more hours (I’m up to nine, one way, now)! She performed beautifully. I am very proud of her.
I had lots of time to ponder as I drove. Did I get everything done? Did I remember my pitches? Would it even make any difference? Did I bring the right clothes?
I had planned on having dinner with my son and his family, and that turned into dessert. Still, I got to see them.
The conference opened and it was run, run, run all week. But God gave joy along the way. Catching up with writer friends we only see at conferences. Meeting new friends that we will greet with great joy the next time. Learning techniques in the coaching classes and workshops. And yes – pitching our work to editors and agents (with high hopes).
Most importantly, this is a business conference that turns into the House of God. Pretty amazing. We are the Family of God, no matter that we all congregate to do business. Devotions started each busy day and finally ended the conference as well.
We were reminded to surrender ourselves to our God.
All of our work.
All of our expectations.
All of our doubts.
All of our hopes.
All of our results.
Stand to kneel. Surrender to conquer.
Keeping our eyes on Jesus, in every endeavor. This is what we do. This raises our lives above the mundane.
He carries us with His love.
This is the beautiful destination.
“The crooked places shall be made straight and the rough places smooth; the glory of the Lord shall be revealed” (Isaiah 40:4b,5a).