We have recently discovered a really great place here in Hangzhou. It is a mall, called the MixC mall. It is huge. It is beautiful. There are many, many nice stores here. They even have an ice skating ring. Most of the stores are too expensive for us, but we do enjoy window shopping here. They do have a Toys R Us and a Best Buy. More importantly, they also have an awesome foreign super market. They even had some Dr Pepper (it is all gone now, and has sadly not been restocked).
The mall is way on the North side of town. It takes a good while to get there. It is a journey, but it worth the hassle.
We went to the mall last Friday. We had plans to meet Jon there. Jon was subbing at the international school that day. I had been told that it was easy to get to the mall from the school. Just take the B6 bus a few stops after the #3 bridge and then walk about 10 minutes. I had the name of the bus stop and even the address of the mall. I gave Jon all this info and told him I would meet him there.
As Jon and I were traveling to the mall, I kept thinking about how the situation is like our journey through life.
The kids and I took different buses because we were on different roads. We used to take a 502 bus and then a 156. (the numbers aren't that important to you). However, the 502 bus is no longer running. So we have to take a B2 bus. This bus is really uncomfortable. It is extremely crowded!
After a little bit, I really felt that we should get off the bus. The kids were getting squished and it was a little hot, no one was happy. I told the kids that if we got off the bus we would have to walk, and I did not know how long it would be until we reached the place where we could catch the next bus. They were OK with that. We got off the bus and started walking. We walked for about 30 minutes before we reached the bus stop.
We did find our stop and got seats on the next bus and just rode it until the end.
Sometimes in life, we make great plans, but our plans are not always God's plans. We planned to take a 502, but could not. Even the B2 was not the bus for us. But in the end, it all worked out.
Jon's journey was not as easy. He really did not know the way to go. Someone told him the way to go, but he only partly understood the directions. He took the right bus...he started out good. However when he got off the bus, he was really lost. He was not even sure he was on the correct road. No one around him seemed to even know about that road. His problem? He did not have map. If he had a map, or looked at a map, then maybe he could have gotten on the right road. He walked around for about an hour. He felt lost the whole time. Eventually he did get a taxi, and he made it to the mall. Of course his journey was more expensive than mine.
In life, sometimes we listen to people who do not really know what they are talking about. We do not check the map for ourselves (the Bible). When we end up on the wrong road, there are consequences (paying a taxi fare). However, there is still hope and if we do correct our ways and get back on the right road, we can reach our destination.
Then we can join our loved ones and have a nice time together.
Jon did make it to the mall in time for us to eat dinner together. We were happy to see him.
How is your journey? Are you trying to do it all by yourself, or are you checking the map and making sure you are on the right road?