Thursday, September 03, 2009

Journal of a Living Lady #355

Nancy White Kelly

Why is it that we pray for something and then act surprised when those prayers are answered? Maybe because we believe the blessings of God aren’t deserved.

In spite of short-comings, I have been blessed immeasurably during my lifetime, especially during the last half of it. Hospice didn’t get the opportunity to ease me into eternity. My metastatic cancer wasn’t as imminently terminal as predicted.

A couple of years ago a new problem occurred. It is rare that a person in total kidney failure gets to kiss dialysis good-bye. Having a date with a machine three times a week was more discouraging to me than the cancer. My kidneys defied the odds as God adjusted my earthly graduation date. It has been my goal ever since to make use of this extended time.

On Sunday mornings I teach an adult Bible study class. Several times I have mentioned that I was praying for one more opportunity to go to Jerusalem. While God was fully aware of my desire, I did not truly expect the fulfillment of such a lavish request. After all, Buddy and I have been to the Holy Land twice. The last trip was a surprise gift from a reader who assumed he was granting the last request of a dying lady.

Several weeks ago I read a newspaper ad announcing an essay contest that a major airline was offering. Small business owners were invited to write an essay explaining the benefits of face-to-face interaction with customers.
Buddy and I own Ye Old Coin Shop, so I dashed off an essay of less than 500 words promoting the benefit of doing business with hand-shakes rather than using impersonal technology.

It was a hurried entry. Apparently I didn’t have much confidence in my writing ability or my chance of winning an international writing contest. In my haste, I failed to save the essay to the hard drive. If I printed a hard copy, only God knows where it is now.

Yes, I won. There were more than 10,000 entries. The Grand Prize was a trip for two to England, consultation with top business leaders, and then a ticket to any other destination of choice. That was an instantaneous decision: Jerusalem, here I come.

Since Buddy has seen the Holy Land, he offered his seat to our son who is a serious Bible student and sometimes writer. Charlie has expressed his desire to go to Israel many times. Being a school teacher with two small sons, the likelihood of that was slim unless he won the lottery which he doesn’t play. Since neither Tori nor Buddy can accompany us on the magic carpet, this trip will be a one-to-one, mother-son experience that most moms of adult children can only imagine.

This will be my last column for September. Charlie and I leave soon for the first leg of our journey from Atlanta to New York City to London. He wants to see the church where Charles Spurgeon preached. I want to have tea with the queen. Then, shalom, we are off to Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

No doubt Buddy will be lonesome while we are away. If you are in our phone directory, expect a call. While he is talking, Charlie and I will be walking on hallowed ground.

Be sure of what you pray for. God moves in mysterious ways.