I’m sure you all have heard of the movies, “Sleepless in Seattle,” and “Maid in Manhattan.” Jim and I are going to write one titled, “Clueless in D.C.” Although in light of the recent news, someone may beat us to that title.
I don’t want to bore you with our stories of cancelled flights, different airports, changed rental car details, etc. However, after all of that, when they told us we were in room 4-1-1, it should have been a sign. Some of you might not remember those days, but in the past when we needed to look up a phone number, we didn’t talk to Siri or pull up Google. We had to dial 4-1-1. A nice operator would answer the phone and you would give her the name and city of the person you were trying to reach. They would look it up, tell you the number and then you would dial it on your rotary phone or later touch tone phone to make your call. So, with that lengthy explanation, there we were, what felt like country-folk in the big city, assigned to room 4-1-1. At least it wasn’t in room 9-1-1 or 1313 or something like that!
The whole reason we went was to go to a wedding of a wonderful friend. However, on our last day there, we decided to buy a metro pass and headed into the big city. Jim had never been there before to sight-see so I decided that first and foremost, he needed to see the monuments. He was really interested in seeing some of the Smithsonian Museums, too, so we set out to do that, as well. The first one that intrigued us was, “The Castle.” If you know me, you know I don’t do well in museums. However, this building was cool enough, architecturally, that I was interested in going inside as we were passing by. Somehow until that moment, I missed the part about the Smithsonian buildings having something to do with a guy named Smithson who left a lot of money to the government. When we walked into The Castle, just inside the door, was a tomb that housed the crypt of James Smithson, himself. Then there was a small gift shop and some administrative offices. Boring. We left.
After studying Answers in Genesis with Ken Ham materials, I wasn’t all that thrilled to see the next building, either. It was full of bones that had been dug up from dinosaurs from what they say was from millions of years ago. They were hanging from the ceilings and kind of cool except I questioned the legitimacy of everything I was seeing. Thanks, Ken! It probably didn’t help to see an advertisement about evolution on the sidewalk before I even walked in. It set the tone and basically went against everything I believe to be true. Then there was a section with dead animals that were stuffed and others that were in big glass jars so you could get an up close look at all of the dead things. I guess I’m spoiled, but here in Cincinnati, if I want to learn about mammals I go to the zoo. If I want to learn about the ocean, I visit the aquarium. I didn’t want to disappoint Jim, but all of this dead stuff was not going to keep my attention for long. We needed to move on. I just couldn’t take it. Besides, I knew the Lincoln Memorial would be way cooler and I didn’t want him to miss out.
I have always admired Abe Lincoln as an entrepreneur and as a Godly leader. He had a lot of losses, trials, and defeats in his life but he never gave up until he made a difference for having been here. I love that about him. Three and one-half hours after walking non-stop from the time we originally set out to find his memorial, we found ourselves finally standing at the bottom of the steps leading to his memorial.
I know. We had metro passes. We should’ve gotten pretty close and been able to walk there quickly. (Yes, we were clueless in D.C. It never occurred to me to pull up an app. I must be getting old. On the bright side, I am sure we saw things very few see as they ride boring tour buses all over town!) As we got to the top of the steps we paused to take in the statue and read the words from the speeches he had given while he was president. I believe that no matter what people say, he was a man who knew God and sought His direction in everything that he did. I was so excited to share this moment with Jim who I knew would be patriotically inspired. He was.
Even though we were clueless, God clued me in on a few things while we were there. I realize the more time I am a Christian, the lower tolerance I have for stuff in this world that just doesn’t matter. There were hundreds of people spending countless hours walking through museums looking at dead stuff. I heard one man trying to explain to his young son just why they were looking at these dead, stuffed animals. It really didn’t end well as the youngster couldn’t understand the concept either.
Through all of this though, I realized one thing. I am so grateful to serve a God of the living. He is the One that caught and has kept my attention for nearly 30 years now. I was also reminded that each one of us was created with eternal life in mind. I don’t have to wander through museums of the dead to get to know the Creator who created it all and is still alive and well today. What a joy it is to know that as I wander aimlessly through life, I will never be lost again. It may take me 3.5 hours to find a monument of a man that went before us and made a difference. However, I can simply pray and ask to be put on the straight and narrow path that leads to the Creator of it all, Himself. What a joy it is to know that my own personal 4-1-1 is just a prayer away. All I need to do is call on the One that holds the map to where I’m going and Who will gently guide my way to life everlasting! No app required!
I do have to add…while we were at the Lincoln Memorial, a group from South Africa had received a permit to stand on the plaza and sing, Amazing Grace. It seemed so appropriate that they would be singing…I once was lost but now am found. God sent them a long way to bring His message to America…and as a confirmation to me… Through many dangers, toils, and snares, I have already come; ’tis grace hath brought me safe thus far, and grace will lead me home.
Have a great week and don’t forget to get out there and be a blessing!
1Timothy 4:10 (NIV) That is why we labor and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, and especially of those who believe.