I imagine my life is a pilgrimage and Christ is leading me. Sometimes I close my eyes and see the thick wood at dusk, the path grown over and a faithful figure up ahead ever walking, never slowing even when it seems the scenery has not changed much in quite some time. When I dwell in the truth that this is something not only to be visualized, but taken in as true reality, I can lean in and listen and follow. And simply enjoy the view, receiving life as a golden gift not a mysterious riddle. It is a relief, a joy, and a hope that Someone much wiser and more able can lead where I could not even know to go.
In a book dear to me, author Mark McMinn writes, “Most of life is lived in routine. We have bills to pay, money to earn, children to raise, chores to complete, and hobbies to pursue. Days fade into weeks, and months speed by as one year blurs with the next; we peel off a page of the daily calendar and find a decade has past. The routines of life are good and provide much evidence of blessing and common grace. Thankfully, life is also punctuated and slowed by extraordinary moments of insight (my note: what I hope my work of words does for my readers). It may be a sunset, a symphony, a spiritual awakening, the surprise of unexpected friendship, stunning art, a worship experience, or seeing something new in the eyes of a loved one you have looked at ten thousand times before. These markers remind us that we are more than silicon chips churning out the tasks of existence, but are full of life–ensouled, organic beings longing for meaning, enjoying music, cherishing beauty, and yearning for love. Of course, epiphanies need routine as much as routine needs epiphanies. Without the steady, plodding motion of routine our moments of insight would merely be an experimental roller coaster tossing is through the tumults of life. Without the moments of insight, our routines would become black-and-white, suffocating and deadening. Most books emerge from the routines of life as writers sit down each day…”
The faithful guide led me into an unexpected wind on my path a couple of weeks ago. Through an invitation of a friend just hours before, I found myself in the swanky world of an elite ocean-front club in a quiet room of linen tablecloths and delicate desserts. Having just emerged from a house full with the activity of two busy boys, 5 loads of laundry, a teething baby, a semi-sick husband on the prowl for another week of work and cockroaches infesting the kitchen, I was like a Cinderella, reminded again that my Father, my faithful trail-blazer is the King.
The small gathering of about 40 was put together to enable Dr. James Dobson, his wife Shirley and son Ryan to give an intimate update on their lives in light of Dr. Dobson’s last official radio show with Focus on the Family, the new radio ministry to start with Ryan and Shirley’s involvement with the National Day of Prayer, of which she is the chairman. Reports were given, stories shared, an announcement of the upcoming book of Bringing Up Girls was heard, questions and comments taken and a call to join in prayer for our nation was given.
I was able to tell Dr. Dobson his voice is a part of my childhood, it echoed down the halls of our ranch-style house out of the small pink radio as I got ready for school each morning. The curious writer in me would have like to picked he and Shirley’s brains for a couple of hours, if it were appropriate! I did ask him what his word would be to women of my generation. His answer? Stay true to what matters most. Simple, but profound. He then thanked me for raising my children with vision and to keep on in my endeavors. It is always good to recieve a blessing. Whatever your opinion is of Dr. Dobson and Focus on the Family through the years, the shaping effect they have had on American culture in particular is undeniable. His warm heart towards children and families is still as passionate and gripping, of this we can be thankful! God is no respecter of persons; he uses who he will.
At the end of our time, this small gathering, urged by Shirley’s gracious assistant, gathered around the Dobson’s as they sat in the center of the room to pray over them and for the details of the upcoming National Day of Prayer. The only place was for me to stand with my hand over Dr. Dobson’s. A few prayers were offered and then I was honored to intercede as the Spirit led.
I was able to speak personally with them, gift them with a copies of my book and glean more information about the upcoming events surrounding the National Day of Prayer in Washington DC. Please do be a part of this where you are in any way that you can! We must do no less.
The evening was a break from my routine, an extraordinary time of insight into the plans of man and the plans of God–that we are all full of life and purpose, our paths converging in only a way the faithful walker, the Good Shepherd, could make possible.
Keep running. Even just walk for now if that is all you can muster up. But keep on the pursuit of God.
Photos with Dr. Dobson & Shirley, friend Ginger (2) and Shirley’s assistant, Faye. Note to self: put purse down for photos!