Last Tuesday it was a beautiful day outside, in the mid to high 70’s as I wrapped up my lunch and several emails and other work at my desk. I did not make it to the gym that morning so I had thrown my walking shoes in my pickup just in case I had opportunity during the day. Sure enough I decided to take a little break and get out for some fresh air.
I left the office and headed East on First Street thinking it would be nice to get in about a 30 minute walk on such a wonderful spring-like day. I do not remember exactly where it is but I knew I did not want to walk clear to Oliver and besides there is a pretty good hill there that I did not relish walking back up if I continued.
I turned south and crossed Douglas and walked for a bit in the College Hill area. Now, for those of you not familiar with College Hill south of Douglas the streets do not always run straight north-south or east-west, that and there are roundabouts and other sights to be seen (this is important to the story). I decided as I walked south I needed to head back west to Hillside. As I came to each intersection there was a sign that read, “No Outlet” and at the end of each street I could see a wall. I knew this did not seem right, but I continued south until I found a through street where I could see the busy traffic of Hillside and so west I went.
I came out on to the sidewalk and looked up at the street sign before heading back to the church. Hmm, I thought, or something along those lines, the sign read Oliver! Obviously I had managed to get myself turned around somehow. I headed up Oliver and found myself at the corner of Oliver and Douglas at a familiar favorite place and oasis of information, thought, and welcome, Watermark Books. I called the office and told them I would be a little longer than I planned, went into the bookstore, purchased a drink and took a bit to soak up the atmosphere.
You know sometimes finding oneself in unexpected places, uncertain, and unknown can be a moment of grace and learning. Wandering through the mystery of doubt and uncertainty is not necessarily a bad thing, even if you don’t know you are not going where you thought you were at the time. Finding ones bearings and taking a moment to encounter new knowledge and information, belief and understandings can be soul filling and nurturing.
Take some time this week to wander off the beaten path of what you have always known and believed. Immerse yourself in an oasis of new understanding and information, renewed inspiration and connection in the present moment wherever you find yourself. And remember, all who wander are not lost.
It is one of the many ways we seek to be mindful of the Spirit and one another here at the Hill, where you are one of the community. Here where there is always an open door, a safe space, a warm welcome, and a place at the table. Not Your Ordinary Church. Until next week, God bless, and know you are never alone.