I had a book signing yesterday at the annual convention of the Madison Diocese Council of Catholic Women, an hour and a half drive from my home.
The trip there was a cinch. I’d Google mapped the route and was able to follow it with no problem at all. The event was a great success and I was inspired by this group’s organization and enthusiasm. At the end of the day, I packed up, grabbed my Google map and headed home. It made perfect sense to follow the same route in reverse.
I was tooling along, praying the Rosary and mulling over things that were on my mind. Eventually, the highway changed into a two-lane country road and I found myself surrounded by cows and barns. Uh-oh. This definitely wasn’t I-94! Not seeing anyone around to ask for directions, I turned around and headed back to Madison.
Once there, I re-traced my route, reversing the directions exactly: Hwy 12/14 to I-39/90, then merge onto I-94. I was flying along, this time on a nice, wide, divided highway as I should have been. About 30 minutes later, it occurred to me that I hadn’t seen any signs for I-94. Then I saw a sign that marked the approach of Janesville – miles and miles away from where I was supposed to be! Somehow, I’d missed the on ramp for I-94 and continued on I-39/90 instead.
A call to Mark to examine the map and a stop at a Rest Area for directions provided me with an alternate route home, one that would take me far out of my way but would at least be reliable.
Three hours later, I pulled up beside our house, exhausted, but grateful to God for bringing me home safely.
Later I thought about this, comparing my trip to life in general. Don’t we so often feel assured we’re on the right route, tooling along in our own self-righteousness? Then God has to come along, show us how lost we are and offer us an alternate route.