Thursday morning I woke up, packed up my things, climbed into my car, and started the three hour trek to Grand Rapids for the Festival of Faith & Writing Conference. The butterflies danced in my tummy as I prayed, asking for God’s guidance about which classes to attend and how to spend my time.
When I pulled onto Calvin College’s campus, my gut gurgled. I registered, then dashed to my car so I could check into my hotel and review the conference schedule. After unpacking and settling into my room, I busted out the booklet and scanned the contents.
Nothing. There was nothing I wanted to do. There weren’t any classes that I wanted to attend. None of the speakers grabbed my attention. In fact, when I thought about going back for the opening session, my muscles twitched.
What was going on? I’d already paid for the room and the conference. I spent my morning in a car (and that’s saying a lot, because I like driving as much as I like having cavities filled). I had prayed about this…hadn’t I?
If I’m really honest with myself, I think I knew all along that I wasn’t supposed to be at that conference, but I really wanted to go. Instead of asking God, “Should I attend?”, I told Him, “I’m going to this conference – what speakers should I hear?” If I had started at the beginning, I could have saved myself some time, money, and boring car time.
So I sat in my hotel room and called my hubby. I explained the situation. Feeling the need to visit the vendors’ hall before leaving, I stayed one night, but then went home Friday morning. I never went to a single class.
I have my suspicions about why I wasn’t supposed to be there, but to me it doesn’t really matter. I had spent the entire drive to GR asking for God’s guidance about classes, so I know what I was feeling wasn’t just apprehension – it was His answer, but not as I’d expected it.
For me, that’s okay. I don’t mind if He tells me to go left while I’m preparing to turn right. I just want to make sure I’m in His will, even if that means I have to suck up my pride and admit to my mistakes. I’d rather be on His path after a slight detour than to miss it altogether.