If the tornado that devastated Joplin this weekend had turned right instead of left – I would not be here today.

Right instead of left…Less than a 1/2 mile distance between my hotel  – which came away completely unscathed without even a leaf out-of-place – and total dissemination.

Right instead of left…and my story would be no more.  So what is the story I would have left behind?  Is it a story that points to the Cross and the Cross alone for my hope, my joy, my comfort, and my strength?  Or is it a story that is filled with an “all about me” story line?

Right instead of left…and oh what an adventure that would have been. I have a full and rich life.  One that is full of constant adventures, some sought out and some that come to me without my asking or wanting.  Some adventures are fun, full of laughter, new and old friends, dancing and happiness…and some, like this weekend…filled with the unknown of what is next and a pressing and leaning into the Hope of my salvation.

Right instead of left…and my world might have come to an end.  The end of the world did not come this weekend…I never believed it was going to. In fact, I think that those who proclaim that the “Bible guarantees it” have not actually read their Bible closely, or they would know that “no one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself.”   Yet, I do believe that it is coming and that on that day it will be so bittersweet….

Right instead of left… What would you have remembered about me?  One that was so busy she didn’t have time for the important things in life? A girl who was so wrapped up in her self and her comfort and her story that she had not time for anyone else?  Or  one that was so passionately in Love with her Savior that she boldly spoke when she was afraid?  One who did not count suffering as loss?   One who served, rather than was served?  One who laughed and sang and praised even in times of hardship?  Would you remember one who prayed and called out to her merciful Father over those who do not know him?

Right instead of left… Just a directional shift in the wind.  Why was I spared when others were not?  Why did I get to stay when others had to go?  Why does my story go on while others have finished theirs?  Why do I still have it all…when others have lost everything but their lives? I don’t know the answers to these questions…and I’ve pondered them a lot while stuck in a hotel room for two days.

Right instead of left…My story does go on for now…and my story is not about me, my fame, my fortune, my glory….it is about being the hands and feet of One who controls the storms…no matter which way they may turn my life.  It is about the One who is Life and who gives Life. The story is about One who desires you so much that He is in constant pursuit of you and your soul no matter how far you have run, whether you believe in Him or not, and who gave His only Son so that you might live – and live more abundantly.  It is a story of Love, a Love that comes without strings and without reservation.

Right instead of left…Just a simple change in direction – may the rest of my story be the investment of my life into the lives of others, so that they can be given the opportunity to be more than they might be otherwise. And a declaration of the Truth that God lives and God loves, and God desperately wants You.  That He gave His Son to die so that you and I and our stories might live.

Right instead of left….how different life might be.