For the past few weeks I have been watching a lot of travelogues and reading a lot of travel guidebooks. Happily, I have reason to do this! My husband, who is a professional musician, is going to be giving some concerts in Europe next summer. Lucky for me, I will get to tag along and we’ll only have to pay for my portion of the expenses and any additional sightseeing we decide to do. I’ve been very excited about this opportunity ever since it started shaping up at the end of the summer!
I know that this trip is still many months away, but I am a planner. A planner with wanderlust… I wouldn’t go as far as to say that I like to plan the trip as much as I like to take the trip, but I do like it. A lot. This trip will be taking us through Switzerland, so for the last few weeks I’ve spent much of my spare time watching anything on the region I can get my hands on. (I like to start by watching travelogues and then read about what caught my eye. Kinda’ like window shopping!) Along the way I have made notes about Swiss towns and attractions that make the region we are going to be visiting special and unique.
One of the travelogues I enjoyed watching was made by Rick Steves. He visited the exact region we are going to be visiting and I made tons of notes about all the interesting sights, train transportation, and the towns to see. It was very exciting! In my notes I wrote about how while watching the DVD, my husband and I really thought it would be neat to see a town I noted as “Grindelwald.”
We listened intently as Rick Steves toured this idyllic alpine town that is not even accessible by car. I began looking for this charming town in the stack of guidebooks we have checked out from the library. It was a surprise to find so much information on this remote little town in the Lauterbrunnen Valley. I was delighted to find many options for accommodations in and around the community and went to bed a few nights ago sure that we had found the perfect little mountain hideaway to explore for a few days along our trip route.
This past weekend my husband made a trip to the bookstore to buy our own copy of the Rick Steves’ Switzerland book. We often use his books to help us plan a sensibly priced vacation and have found he has lots of great advice. I was eager to read what he had to say about the little gem of a community he showed on his documentary, the town that had me dreaming of a life in seclusion with fondue and chocolate. I flipped to the section on the Berner Oberland and read with anticipation…
On a very neatly boxed couple of pages he gives a quick run down of the places and names in the Berner Oberland and what each has to offer. This was the page where I came to understand that I had it all wrong!
There in the Rick Steves’ Switzerland book, on page 130, it was very plainly written, “Grindelwald: Expensive resort town, not to be confused with Gimmelwald.” On the line before this he lists the town, “Gimmelwald,” and gives this description, “Wonderfully rustic time-warp village overlooking the Lauterbrunnen Valley; good home-base option.”
Well that changes everything!
Isn’t that just the way a faith journey can go? So many times along my path in life, I’ve been busy making plans for a destination I only think I am interested in and it is only when I have paid close attention to my guide and my guidebook that I have been able to arrive at the destination my Guide intended.
I am finding myself at a new intersection again. My son, my youngest child, is going to start Kindergarten next fall. When he was born I felt a strong call to stay at home with him until he went to school. I say call because over the past 5 years I have felt like my ministry has been to serve my family. I have felt God guide me on that path over the last 5 years. It has been a gift and I am so glad I’ve done it, but I see that huge intersection looming in the distance, and I’m a little weary. Where do I go from here, straight ahead, stay on target? Turn Right to Grad School? Turn Left to the work force? How ‘bout a U-Turn, this time to adoption and parenting a preschooler once more? I want to make sure I’m looking at the map God has for me, listening to God’s divine voice as my travel guide.
My ears are open Lord…
(And in the end I think we’ll be staying in Lauterbrunnen!)