Thinking of vacations brought this story to mind:
I went to London with my friend, Tara, in 2003. For a week we walked all over London together, only splitting up to visit different venues on one day. On that day, Tara went to the Museum of London and I went to the National Gallery. We planned to meet at Westminster Cathedral at 5pm for Evensong. After I had strolled around the museum for an hour, it dawned on me that I was in a heap of trouble. What was I thinking? Without Tara as my guide, why did I believe I could find my way to Westminster Cathedral? I can’t find my way around Zimmerman, my hometown of 25 years! I immediately began to try to plot a course to the church. As I attempted to get to the cathedral I got lost, absolutely and completely lost. After much walking and a couple of rides on the tube, I thought I had made it to Westminster. It was 4:45pm. Hooray! I would make it to the service on time. But no – I was not at the church, I was at Parliament! I brought my troubles to a kind policeman guarding an entrance to Parliament. He said, “Madam, if you will follow that little footpath, it will take you directly to the church.” I ran down the footpath and begged entrance to the church as a priest was closing the front gate. “Madam, do you intend to stay for the entire service?” asked the priest. “I do!” I vowed. The gate opened wide and I ran into the church. Then, a minor miracle – I see Tara already seated in the church! I found an open place in a pew a few rows behind her and sat down just as the service began. I heaved a sigh of relief and directed my attention toward the high altar at the front just as the choir began to sing the processional.
After Evensong was over and the church bells were pealing in honor of the birthday of one of the royal grandchildren, Tara and I walked around the church trying to take in all the beauty and history that surrounded us. It was then that I asked Tara if she experienced any problems finding her way to Westminster Cathedral.
“No,” she said as she tossed her backpack over her shoulder. “I took a cab and it dropped me off right in front. Did you have any trouble?”
“Oh no – no problems at all,” I lied. And I was still in church, too.