It's not often that you find yourself in a book, but there I was- right in the introduction to British theologian N.T. Wright's "Simply Christian." Wright writes (sorry!), "There are two sorts of traveler. The first sets off in the general direction of the destination and is quite happy to figure things out on the way, to read the signposts, ask directions, and muddle through." That's me, at least in London.
My natural inclination is to be a bit more (my kids would probably say a lot more) in control. In our time here, though, I have come to accept the fact that tube maps, street maps, internet directions, and agreed upon rendevous times are approximations or guides at best. I am learning that plans are good but flexibility is essential.
Like the other day in my unplanned journey along the East Thames path. My walk was costing me more steps and more time than I had anticipated. And then I looked-up and saw the beautiful Southwark Cathedral. Built in the 13th century it is not nearly as large, or well-known, as its sisters at Westminster or St. Paul's. I loved wandering through the flower-filled courtyards and was awed by its beautiful interior.
The I heard a voice call the cathedral's visitors to prayer. It was a simple service: a reading of the scripture of the day from the lectionary; a brief, guided time of prayer for personal concerns; a prayer by the minister; and an invitation to pray "as Jesus taught His disciples, each in his own native language."
There I was, in the quietness of that moment, connected to God, the scriptures, those present around me, the church universal, and to you, at home. I hadn't planned on that.