Blessed are the curious
One day this summer, we travelled to Sioux Falls for a monthly event known as First Friday, a downtown business and community revitalization experience. It was a day filled with everything our little town is not: al fresco upscale dining, a thriving music scene on every corner, a pop-up temporary green space, a hipster splash park, and an amazing downtown block party. When perusing one of the boutiques, I stumbled across a pack of greeting cards tucked away in a galvanized tray that captured my heart.
Maybe it has been the nostalgia of learning to let go (things, habits, and basically anything unnecessary and cumbersome in our lives). Maybe it was the journey to find true contentment this year. Maybe the barely perceptible siren song of childhood is being replaced by the deep bass notes of manhood for the Boy Wonder.
Whatever the reason, adventuring and soul-seeking have been our purpose-filled missions this summer. I couldn’t be more pleased with the results.
For a very long time, every moment of our daily lives was filled with sadness, tethered to a day that we all deeply wish we could change. But wishes and regrets keep us locked away – far away – from living. This summer, although encountering its fair share of struggles, has been the polar opposite of what has marked our days for MUCH. TOO. LONG.
Adventuring and soul-seeking,
It all began when we arrived in Florida after a long morning of hurry-up-and-wait, followed by a three hour flight to our first major adventure to kick-off summer. The culminating result was arrival in my home state with three exhausted teenagers and one preteen who can eat more than those other three combined. Feed and water the kids became our battle cry! After retrieving our luggage and rental car, we dashed off to a restaurant which held more than Southern sweet tea and barbeque. God’s blessings of hope and encouragement awaited us as another family paid our bill, asking the waitress to tell us they overheard our heartfelt prayers and were touched by our story. The trip we weren’t sure was going to happen due to Sister’s surgery was ordained with a beautiful beginning.
The message: God wanted us to enjoy our adventure. And in the process, we learned to really search our souls for his presence.
The next day, quite unexpectedly, my sister and brother-in-law’s friend offered us (all 12 of us) some tickets to Sea World. While theme park is not exactly what I would call an adventure, what happened inside that park left me speechless.
We were an eclectic bunch, including a three-month old, a three year old, two grandparents, and one teenager (God bless her heart) who due to a non-ambulatory decree from the orthopedic surgeon was forced to utilize an electric scooter in the park. Pit stops, interruptions, and exceptions to the rule were bound to happen.
ANYWAYS, while we were waiting, a gentleman with his family in tow walked up and asked me if we were just entering the park. When I explained we were, he gave us a family pass for jumping to the front of the line for all rides and attractions.
Really God? First, dinner and now a free-pass to avoid all lines. You’ve definitely got my attention.
A little later, another pit stop. Some of our group were huddled under the shade trees by stroller parking while we waited for our own littlest member to be fed. We were entertained by the very adept cookie-stealing squirrel who snuck into a diaper bag and stole an entire Ziploc bag of fresh baked, ooey-gooey chocolate chipped cookies. We were left amazed by his Herculean strength as the bag was about as big as the opportunistic thief. My moral compass really wanted to pen them a letter, lest later in the day they were disappointed in humanity thinking someone stole their cookies and some of their children’s innocence.
Just as I was internally debating my dilemma of “Dear stroller owner . . . “ or let it be, a familiar song began to swirl above my head. Tears filled my eyes. The melodic warbling was one I intimately knew and the desire to have present on this special trip could have only been sent straight from heaven.
I looked up just in time to see the red plumage dash to the entrance of the particular show we had hoped to catch. The cardinal even sensed the need for Sister to use an alternate entrance due to her “ride”. He darted branch to branch as we ascended the winding path to the arena’s seating. Flashes of red were mixed with melodic chirping. He lingered long enough for us to find seats and for him to find a perch.
This song of hope leaked out of my eyes as I quietly thanked God for sending the Reed-y bird while knowing he has the real Reed, tucked safely under his wings in heaven. Had I been more worried about things like blistering heat, crowded walkways, even the note to random strangers, my ears might have missed the sound of beautiful music, which is like a love song – God’s love song – to my momma’s heart.
Blessed are the curious, for they shall find adventure.
The notes of the cardinal blessed my soul with one of God’s unexpected adventures.