Yesterday, I headed out for back to back interviews – one in-person interview with the KSU President; one phone interview with Kentucky Wesleyan President- for an upcoming Kentucky Monthly article on leadership.
Being the wonderfully-beautifully-made person that God alone could have constructed (the one who is directionally and functionally and otherwise challenged) I had two sets of directions to guide me. One set was from my university contact person, who actually lives in Frankfort and who actually drives these streets every day. The other set was from the woman-who-is-supposed-to-be-smart. That woman lives in my phone. (Harumphf!)
I was fine until I tried to get off the interstate. One set of directions from the university contact said to take exit 68. The other set of directions from the lady in my phone said to take exit 58.
There is no exit 68.
I trusted the lady in my phone. Once I was on Versailles Road, I again trusted the lady on my phone and took a ‘slight left’ onto something called a connector road. The name of the road is deceiving. It connected me to NOTHING.
The lady on my phone was maybe not so smart. But neither was the university contact. She directed me to an exit that didn’t exist.
Or maybe, it was just me.
It has taken me quite some time to realize I am, indeed, wonderfully-beautifully made, despite a litany of personal quirks that can quickly turn into reasons for self-loathing. Like being directionally challenged. Like being functionally challenged. Like lacking faith. Like keeping my hand poised over the panic-flight button when I am threatened by anything I cannot control because I am so afraid of getting hurt again, and again, and again.
Getting hurt means that I have trusted. Sometimes, I trust myself and fail myself. Sometimes, I trust others who have walked this way before and their experiences and results don’t quite mirror mine (or maybe they have forgotten the exit numbers and when they try to tell me how to get to my destination, the directions come out sort of wrong for me). Sometimes, I trust things like the lady in my phone … who is just a voice with no true substance.
Luckily, or perhaps divinely, God has not only wonderfully and beautifully made little old me, he wonderfully and beautifully commands all the things around me. God is not surprised by either the destinations, or the paths, or the people along those paths. He commands that all things are working together for my good. Not because I am good. Not because I do enough stuff. Not because I sometimes succeed more than I fail. But because God is absolute goodness and He wishes like crazy that I will see some of that goodness, and live some of that goodness so that others can see Him.
And because God is good, He worked it out that my morning devotionals the last two days were about peace. Peace when I know my way and peace when I am utterly lost.
As I turned my car around in the foreign space, I forced the thought: peace, peace, peace. I let that single word pour into my hands on the wheel, and my foot on the pedals, and my body in the seat, and my heart which was situated in my throat because I was starting the climb into panic-flight mode.
And my whole challenged self came to rest against this pillowy, graceful, good softness of peace.
Then my phone rang.
It was my university contact, who knew immediately where I was, knew immediately how to get me where I needed to be, and who I eventually met and thanked.
After the interviews and the rather uneventful drive back home, I settled back into my daily-ness. Sometimes, peace looks like reaching a destination, putting the car in park, and shutting down the ignition. Sometimes, though, peace looks an awful lot like a whispered word on the drive.