Three times on our recent trip to Europe I got us hopelessly lost, twice in Paris and once in Helsinki.
Mostly we had an amazing time of meandering and discovery. Our amazing discoveries included; a cup of Cappuccino with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra; the Changing of the Royal Palace Guard dressed in their royal blue regalia in Old Stockholm; Swedish Meatballs at an exquisite restaurant in a small, hidden, triangular courtyard; and Ratatouilles’ friend Remy alive and well at dusk in a hugely populated courtyard. (Chill your spine and curl up into a fetal ball on your chair encounter.)
My wife and I have learned to travel together by meandering and off-the-grid discovery. It not only works well, but it also works best for us. We don’t spend a lot of money on tourist nets that have been previously set with our names on them. Instead, we discover great places to take a break and sometimes, too often, eat. Parks, bridges, architecture, and archways garnered photo ops by the megabyte.
The hopelessly lost part happened because we had to get to someone else’s ‘great discovery’ restaurant. The ‘have to’ combined with my North American grid mentality was not a right combination in a city of circles and wedges, especially when you add in about 10,000 extra steps.
Even a good relationship can get somewhat testy when you circle around your hotel an extra 2 kilometres in the dark cobblestone streets with rain, without GPS because it’s 11:20 pm and your phone has just died.
We loved the vibe of ancient Europe. We loved the clash and harmony of the architecture of days gone by with the new and innovative appeal. Europe for us equals an amazingly inspired time of pause and reflection.
In a quiet time this morning, I read, “A person’s steps are directed by the Lord. How then can anyone understand their own way?” (Proverbs 20:24, NIV)
It occurred to me that not only our positive steps but all of our steps have a divine oversight because God really is taking us on a discovery journey, an amazing could be inspired time, of pause and reflection.