Every afternoon or evening, when it’s not ninety degrees outside, I take my dogs on a walk. The puppy is tethered to a leash, of course, and may be for some time as we’re just beginning more intensive training with her. However, our ten-year-old lab (who is expertly trained and comes to me in and instant, standing by my side until I tell her she can go) has the pleasure of running free, and she relishes in chasing rabbits and plunging head-first into water-filled ditches (no rabbits have been caught or harmed). In fact, Rosie is a head-first kind of dog. We used to worry that she would hurt herself each time she went barreling down the hall toward our bedroom only to find the door closed after she rammed it with her head. Luckily it didn’t take long for her to learn to test the door first to see if the air conditioning fan had slammed it shut again. I keep waiting, though, for her to ram a culvert or a tree as she plunges ahead at break-neck speed.
It’s not unlike watching people or even governments running at break-neck speed, heads jutting forward, throwing caution to wind. So often, we go through life without ever looking up or ahead. I’m not talking about those who never look up from their cell phones as they cross a busy intersection, but really, isn’t the result the same? To push ahead, forge recklessly into the unknown, and never stop to see what’s coming up.
Now, I’m not saying that you should never take a chance or let the Spirit guide you. No, I’m talking about using common sense to assess the road ahead and plan for whatever may come your way. There have been times in my travels when I booked a flight in and a flight out with only a vague notion of what would happen or where I would go in between, but I always had a vision at to what to expect and a plan for how to handle the closed doors and obstructing trees. There was one time when I had no contingency plan, and I thank God that it turned out okay.
Rebecca and I were to leave Mont St. Michel in France and travel by train from Renee to the beaches of Normandy to see the beach her great-grandfather stormed and pay our respects at the cemeteries and memorials. We did not foresee a train strike that would leave us stranded in the Renee train station for twelve hours and then have us arriving in Paris close to midnight. We knew the city vaguely from years before, but not enough to know where to go to find reasonable yet safe accommodations. Knowing only that we did not want to stay in the underground metro for long, and that we wanted to be where there were people, we headed toward the Eiffel Tower. Unfortunately, we found that the hotels there were enormously overpriced. Thankfully, we stumbled on an American working at one of the hotels who insisted on calling us a taxi to take us to a safe and affordable part of the city (for your own future reference, this was near the Paris Opera House). The following morning, we enjoyed a delightful breakfast near the Gare du Nord station and left for Brussels, missing Normandy altogether. It was then I learned that I always needed to keep an eye on what was coming and have a plan if things went awry.
Our world today is in chaos. Everywhere you look, unpredictable occurrences seem to be the never-changing theme. However, the truth is, many of these unpredictable happenings could have been seen and prevented. We don’t live in the Middle Ages. We have the most technological advances in history, yet we often go into things as though we have no foresight whatsoever. We are no different than a dog, plunging head-first into a full ditch and racing through the mucky water without giving a thought to what we might encounter. Proverbs (one of my absolute favorite books of the Bible) tells us “A wise man perceives danger and seeks shelter, while the fools continue forward and pay for it” (Proverbs 22:3).
I pray that those in charge around the world look up and assess what’s ahead. I pray that all people learn to forsake foolishness and know when to perceive danger. I pray for all of those in harm’s ways around the globe through no fault of their own and even those who find themselves in peril because of their own shortsightedness. I especially pray for the women and girls who are now uncertain of their future. May we all be wise and not foolish, looking ahead and making plans rather than stumbling around in the dark without knowing where to go.
St. Thomas the Apostle, pray for us.
Be sure to catch me next at:
August 28 – Book signing – St. Mary’s Crab Festival in Leonardtown, Maryland 10:00AM-4:00PM
September 18 – Book signing – Abbeyfest in Berwyn, Pennsylvania 11:00AM-9:30PM
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Amy Schisler is an award-winning author of both children’s books and sweet, faith-filled romance novels for readers of all ages. She lives with her husband and three daughters on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Her books, Picture Me, Whispering Vines, and Island of Miracles are all recipients of Illumination Awards, placing them among the top inspirational fiction books of 2015, 2016, and 2017. Whispering Vines was awarded the 2017 LYRA Award for the best romance of 2016. Island of Miracles has outsold all of Amy’s other books worldwide and ranked as high as 600 on Amazon. Her follow up, Island of Promise is a reader favorite. Amy’s children’s book is The Greatest Gift. The suspense novel, Summer’s Squall, and all of Amy’s books, can be found online and in stores. Her latest novel, Island of Promise, was recently awarded First Prize by the Oklahoma Romance Writer’s Association as the best Inspirational Romance of 2018 and was awarded a Gold Medal in the Independent Publisher Book Awards 2019 for Inspirational Fiction. It is the 2019 winner for Best Inspirational Fiction in the RWA Golden Quill Contest, Best Romance in the American Book Awards, and a finalist for the Eric Hoffer Award of Fiction. Amy’s 2019 work, The Devil’s Fortune, a finalist in the Writer’s Digest Self-Publishing Awards and winner of an Illumination Award, is based, in part, on Amy’s family history. The third book of Amy’s Chincoteague Island Trilogy, Island of Hope, was released in August of 2019.
Amy’s books: Crabbing With Granddad (2013), A Place to Call Home (2014), Picture Me (2015), Whispering Vines (2016), Island of Miracles (2017), Stations of the Cross Meditations for Moms (2017), The Greatest Gift (2017), Summer’s Squall (2017), Island of Promise (2018), The Devil’s Fortune (2019), Island of Hope (2019), A Devotional Alphabet (2019), Desert Fire, Mountain Rain(2020).