|ATSF Route Map (from Wikipedia Commons)|
At earlier points in my life, I saw my journey to my vocation as a 19th century train ride on the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe (Harvey Girls, anyone?). I was on a train, coping with tunnel vision, knowing the train had certain stops along the way, with a marked the course and planned stops. If the train stalled, I quickly overanalyzed and shouted, "Oh my gosh, we're here, we're here!" and fell madly in crush with the train station in Dodge City or Winnemucon.
The ultimate destination in this scenario was a train station called Marriage and I was busy trying to make every train station the Marriage station so that I could finally say I had arrived. I didn't want to miss that stop!
"This could be it! I might have found him! Won't it be a beautiful story to tell!"
In those ATSF days, I would walk into a room and make an immediate evaluation of the men in the room: wedding rings, ages, height, face, perceived personality, style, and whether or not they were looking for their bride who just walked in the door...
My eyes and heart tired of the effort.
At a point about six months before I started officially dating my husband (we were friends at this point), I abandoned my train metaphor and realized that this journey to a married vocation is actually a hike. Thank you, Holy Spirit!
I realized God would not let me walk by that outcrop of stone overlooking His beautiful creation. In time, I walked on the paths, through the woods, over the creeks, admiring the creation within the hike along the way, but His mightiness revealed itself to me without question.