How about just one more day reprieve from the topic that seems to be on everybody's mind. I'm going to ignore the elephant for just one more day.
Anybody who knows me knows also that I have a thing about being on time. "We start on time and we end on time" should be written on my grave stone. But one thing I have learned lately with a little help from my friends is that when this doesn't happen because of factors beyond my control, as long as I am open to it, really great things can happen that would not have otherwise.
Part of this I get from Mom. If there is one thing she treasured it was getting lost or sent on a detour. She was always sure that this was the beginning of an adventure that we would not have had otherwise. And often it was the case. Some of my best memories were not the things we were supposed to do on vacation but the things we got to do and see because we were lost.
Of course I credit God and guardian angels for the wonderful phenomenon. I don't know if God sends you the curve ball to get you where He wants you or if He just makes something good out of a bad situation, but in either case or combination thereof, He gets the credit in my book.
So a week ago I am in Ireland. After having spent a LOT of hours on the bus with 56 of my favorite people, the tour guide said, "We are now going to get back on the bus and go on a tour of the countryside and then end up back here in two hours."
I took him aside and said, "You mean we are going to get on that bus, ride for a couple of hours, and end up right back here?"
"I ain't going. I see you when you get back." (Above is one of the places I lit candles for various people including the readers of Adam's Ale)
A seminarian joined me and we toured around a town called Dingle. It was a great visit and it was nice to walk around but I felt like I was being too directive. "Let's go here! Let's go there!" So I told the seminarian, "You pick where we are going now. I'll follow." (At right, lunch in Dingle.) Well, we ended up on some back streets that led nowhere and finally had to double back. I was practicing my newly found spiritual principle of trying to be happy wherever I ended up and not worrying about the time and just enjoying "being" when a man walking out of a post office nearly ran us down.
We looked at each other and took in each other's dress and he asked, "You a priest?"
"Yes. Are you?"
He asked us if we had seen this church in Dingle and we said no. "Father! You MUST see it! It's in all of our literature. It would be a shame to come all this way and not see it!" After explaining that it was not in walking distance and we that our bus was picking us up in 25 minutes, he ushered us into his car and drove us. "It will only be 10 minutes to get there," he said.
We went down lonely one lane roads with grass growing down the middle and shrubbery brushing the sides of the car. Only then did it occur to me there was the possibility that he was not a priest at all but a mass murderer and we were probably the next victims, or worse, we were on an Irish ten minutes and not a Slovenian ten minutes and that we would miss the bus by a couple of hours.
But no, we finally did hit the Gallarus Oratory (see picture to your left) said to be Ireland's oldest ecclesial building. Read more HERE. We stopped and prayed and then he ushered us back into his car, drove like a wild cat and got us back to the bus with two minutes to spare.
And that became my favorite memory of the trip. And it as because we were lost and open to God's creativity. Here's a view out the door.