A number of years ago there was a banner at Red Bird Mission which said something like “If your feet are not where you expected them to be, then God is on the road with you.” So many time in life we find ourselves in a place that is different from what we hoped or expected and then surprisingly we find that this seeming detour brought us to an unexpected gift.
Years ago I was doing the Course of Study for the ministry, which meant that each year I went to Washington D.C. for a month of study. After two weeks of classes we had a three day weekend and one year I took those three days and drove into West Virginia. On the Sunday morning I got up and decided to take a drive and find a United Methodist Church. I took a road, that became a dirt road. Unconcerned, I kept on driving and found myself going up a mountain on a one lane road, with a steep drop on one side. There was no way to turn around so I kept on going, and going, and going, for more than ten miles. I was on top of a long ridge of a mountain and later found out that this was a fire road. At the time I was annoyed with myself and frightened too. I was not happy. But I kept going ad eventually the road descended and just at the place where it went from a dirt road to paved I found myself in front of a very small country church. Of all things a United Methodist Church!
There was a woman standing there ringing the bell and I decided that it was a good time to go to church and give thanks for getting me off that mountain!
As I went in there were about eight women sitting at one side of a small sanctuary, and they told me they were about to start Sunday School, and invited me to join. I do not remember what the bible lesson was, but I do remember connecting with these women as they shared about Scripture. After almost an hour they said church would begin in a couple of minutes and they hoped I would stay. They all got up and moved to the other side of the Sanctuary and worship began. There was no pastor, worship was very informal, but I remember feeling that I had truly been on holy ground with holy people. they loved their church so much, but what really shone was that they loved the Lord.
This unintentional turn on a Sunday morning in a rural part of West Virginia, brought my feet to a place of receiving a great gift. And God surely blessed me that day, and reminded me that worshiping together is a gift of great value.
Where did your feet take you this summer? Some of you traveled, some were here at home, but each of us travels the daily path with God as our companion and with God’s gifts blessing us day after day. I hope your summer brought you many blessings and the knowledge that wherever you found yourself God was and is with you.