As most of my friends and family members know by this point, I am a little nervous for my upcoming trip to India: not the “hyperventilating, can’t sleep at night, panic-attack” kind of nervous, nor the “I-wish-I-weren’t-going” king of nervous, but more like the “WOW—am I really ready for this?!“ kind of nervous—the kind of nervous that warrants frequent and generous pep-talks, which I have been bestowing upon myself with abandon. I really am not a nervous-nelly sort of person, but in my defense, I do think I have good reason to be a bit anxious. For example, my travel agent emailed me last week to remind me to keep checking the status of my intra-India flights [of which there are half a dozen]—all those airlines are in trouble financially and could go under at any moment. Great. Pep-talk, anyone?
Included in those pep-talks have been reminders of God’s gracious, watchful presence with me thus far, and the rock-solid, dependable promise that God will continue to be with me in the future. So, I have been encouraging myself to look for signs of this loving presence with me every day—not demanding those signs [“If you are really with me, God, then…..”], but rather, confident that they are always and at all times surrounding me, simply opening my eyes to their occurrence. They are little things, nothing earth-shaking, nothing to write home about—more like short whispers, slight nudges that gently, quietly remind me that I am not alone. Yesterday, for example, we sang “Day by Day” in chapel: “Day by day, your mercies, Lord, attend me, bringing comfort to my anxious soul.” That was nice.
But as far as signs go, I don’t think I will be able to top the one I found this morning. I was reading Glamour magazine at the gym [yes, I read Glamour—no apologies necessary, I feel!], and I happened upon the horoscopes at the back. Now, I am not really into astrology—although I admit to exhibiting many of the traits that characterize my sign, Aries—and usually I don’t even read the horoscopes, but today, I thought I’d take a look. Here is what I read, verbatim: “You feel ready to take on the world when the new moon aligns with three planets in your sign on the 22nd. For now just make a list of steps (passport, reservations…India!) to implement next month.” Seriously, I am not making this up: “passport, reservations…India!”—right there in black and white. Now, I don’t anything about planetary alignments, nor do I know whether or not God reads Glamour magazine—although that certainly would be Her prerogative, nor am I ready to jump on the idea that God sends us messages through magazine horoscopes [although that may well be a 21st century update on Augustine’s “tolle, lege”]. However, I also am not prepared to look a gift horse in the mouth—and if I can spin this into one more pep talk [with a little divine inspiration], I’m going for it. Seek God where She is found, I say—and if that is in the pages of Glamour, so be it!