One Spring Break, I road-tripped with four friends in California, slept on the floor of a Venice Beach beach house, bought fast food hamburgers for homeless men in San Francisco, and danced on the boardwalk to a dreadlocked band of drummers.
One of those friends is my oldest son’s godfather.
Another Spring Break, I went camping with a group a friends. The weather took a turn for the worse, and we spent a very long 36 hours with six of us huddled in a four-man tent with a battery operated lantern, shivering over a jar of peanut butter and a deck of cards.
Since then, one of those guys became my husband, one dear friend passed away, and all proved to be a bedrock of faithful friendship that I couldn’t live without.
In the unexpected places, I felt the love the Jesus wedging its way into my heart, sneaking into the forefront of my mind. Like seeing the man wrapped in a ripped tarp, sleeping in the street with the City by the Bay roaring around him – I couldn’t turn away.
Maybe I figured that since I was on break, He wouldn’t show. But He did. In huge ways.
When does He not?
So, where is Jesus going to encounter you this week?
I think He actually enjoys showing up in unexpected places. Like the twelve year old in the temple, the woman at the well, a wave-ridden fishing boat, the sycamore tree, on a mountaintop in glory. Maybe He knows that when He catches us off-guard, He has better access to our hearts. No pretenses. We’re not expecting company. We didn’t even throw our laundry in the closet or put on our church clothes.
No matter where you go this week, remember to look for Him. You might be packing for a camping trip with friends, about to board a plane to a foreign country to serve on mission, or repairing a broken-down car so you can go home and play soccer with your little brother. Maybe you’re just really tired and look forward to squeezing in a few extra naps, or plan on banking up some extra hours at work to pay off school loans.
In all of those places and through all of those people, Jesus waits for you. Let the Lord give you a new appreciation for where you are right now in this spectacular point in your life. Step away. From a distance we are sometimes able to see things more clearly, in their entirety. We can be thankful for the blessings God gives to us. For the way He meets us in the midst of our successes and challenges.
Spring break during Lent might seem like an oxymoron, kind of like Ash Wednesday on Valentine’s Day. However, this is just a different road on our journey. Really we are like those two disciples on the road headed out to Emmaus. Possibly thinking, like them, that this is not a place where God could be. This is something different, where the rules do not apply. But yet Jesus is there, He meets us on the road. He wants us to recognize Him.
“Where does God want to interrupt our lives? Where is Jesus calling us to hear the heart of another? Where does Jesus, like on the road to Emmaus, come to us in ways we do not expect. How does He want to pierce my heart so His love flows out more perfectly?” – Sr. Miriam James Heidland, SOLT
Lauren married Curt at St. Mary’s in 1999. They have five fabulous children and live in College Station. In her spare time, Lauren loves to read, write, travel and design pretty things. When she’s not busy driving children around town, she is the Communications and Media Coordinator at St. Mary’s.