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Caught in the Wind of the Spirit

June 16, 2014

Seriously? Seriously?! The word for the day on the day we left was Acts 27:15? I’ll be honest: Reading scripture usually makes me feel better, but when we did our devotions on Saturday morning, I was left with a sinking feeling. So what’s Acts 27:15? “Since the ship was caught and could not be turned head-on into the wind, we gave way to it and were driven.”

On the day of our family’s trip across the ocean, we get a story of a shipwreck? Of course. And of course we were caught up in a storm. Or, to be accurate, we were caught down in a storm. Our flight from Minneapolis to Reykjavik was delayed for two hours by a thunderstorm, which meant that we landed in Iceland two hours late, which meant that we missed our flight to Copenhagen, which meant that we were sent to Amsterdam instead (even though our luggage – two big backpacks and two strollers – got a gratis trip to Denmark, overnight lodging included) which in turn meant that we got into Budapest three hours later than scheduled, without luggage…

Which meant that Mom and Dad took turns feeling anxious and worried. I know, I know, this is hardly the most harrowing of travel tales. Still, three children under the age of five will change one’s perspectives and priorities, and we weren’t sure how they would manage, or how we would manage them. The winds blew, the rains fell, and we weren’t sure things would work out. Would we get to Budapest? Would our luggage? Would I ever get to change my shirt and brush my teeth? I kept thinking of the anxious sailors in Acts, fearing for their lives. What I should have been thinking about was Paul, in the middle of the storm, offering communion, peace, and hope – hope that they would soon land safely on Malta. Not, perhaps, where they were trying to go, but safe harbor nonetheless.

Our trip over didn’t go as we planned. But it went, and we’re here. The kids, once more, were rock stars. I have no idea how we ended up with three great travelers who step up every time we ask them to. We’re in Budapest, enjoying walking, sightseeing, soccer watching (Deutschland!), eating, and just resting up from the journey. And also eating. Tomorrow we dive in a little deeper and see what God is up to through the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Hungary in Piliscsaba, a town to the west of Budapest, and how we are partnering in this ministry through the ELCA’s Young Adults in Global Mission program.

All in all, we are well and we are blessed. It’s good to be reminded that well-planned itineraries are all well and good, but sometimes God has a different direction in mind. It may involve storms, or even shipwreck, but there is safe passage and safe harbor to be found. The trick is being attuned to which way the Spirit is blowing. There’s no use fighting it; might as well let ourselves be driven into the future God intends for us. Turns out Acts 27 wasn’t so bad after all.


Safe and sound.

“And so it was that all were brought safely to land.” Acts 27:44b

From → Sabbatical 2014

One Comment
  1. Mary Eaton permalink

    Thank you for sharing your travel experiences. Let the spirit continue to move us all! Always look forward to your next blog. 🙂 M and M

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