Friday, July 30, 2010

Hey Look Honey, There’s the Pope!

My husband and I just got back from a trip to Italy. We had been planning this for several months and had quite a jam-packed, 10-day itinerary planned. There was no room for error.

Our last day in Rome was a Sunday and we were headed to St. Peter’s Basilica. Yes in hind-sight it was a poor idea to visit the Vatican’s church on a Sunday morning, but our schedule didn’t allow for much else.

When we got to the church, the courtyard was beginning to fill up with people. We toured the church then climbed the dome to get an aerial view of Rome. After climbing about 550 stairs we got to the top of the dome. When we looked down, the courtyard was really getting full of people. When we came back down and attempted to exit the courtyard we were completely stuck. There was no going in or out!

The next few things happened all at once. We heard some regal music, everyone looked up toward one spot and the crowd went WILD! A lady behind me started yelling “Papa, Papa.” Yes, we saw the Pope. He addressed the crowd, gave a blessing and 15 minutes later he was gone.

This reminded me of Proverbs 16:9: We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.

We may think we have a well put together itinerary or plan, but God sometimes guides through interesting and unexpected steps to get there. We can either accept the steps graciously or not.

I thought my husband was going to blow a fuse due to the delay in our itinerary. But to my surprise he expressed how amazing it was to see the Pope. That ended up being one of the most memorable parts of our trip.

Michelle Heriford

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