The Road and The Inn

I didn’t know it would make any difference when I wrote it on the board that day. When I was a new teacher, I wrote (and still write) a quote on the board every school day for my high school students.

I got the idea from a college professor who did the same. But he used bits of alternative songs–unknown to me as a thirty-something student. I asked that he might, at some point, perhaps, provide a quote by someone I would recognize. Marx, maybe?

At the next class, I sensed him watching me for a reaction. I checked the board. The quote he used that day was this one: “Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.” G. Marx~

Not the Marx I expected, but a name I recognized.

In my own classroom a few years later, the quote I wrote wasn’t from Groucho Marx. It was by Cervantes.

“The road is better than the inn.”

I’d had it in my notebook for some time. When that day came, I felt compelled to use it. The teacher across the hall peeked in to see what I’d written. She did that sometimes. I thought nothing of it.

Years later, she told me that the Cervantes quote that day was part of the confirmation she was seeking about whether she should quit her job and take a position as a teacher overseas in a country hostile to Christian faith.

The next year, I was still writing quotes on the board. She was in Northern Africa. My co-worker understood the Great Commission.

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. Matthew 28: 19-20a (ESV)~

What I also didn’t realize that day was that within a few years, my husband and I would also travel abroad to a country not so friendly to Christianity.

We don’t know where the road will turn–or what it holds beyond what we see in front of us.

Some missionaries travel to exotic lands and stay there all their lives. Some go for days or weeks and come back. Some speak to a neighbor–or a stranger–right in their own home towns.

The inn lies ahead of us. Until we arrive there, we are always on the road. We will turn the right way when we listen to God’s leading–when we heed the voice of direction.

Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” John 20:21 (ESV)

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