Make Straight My Path

Our village church is up the hill from where we sit. A vertical hike to get there, actually. A piece of cake for the locals. More of a struggle for this muzungu. Maybe my high center of gravity (my head!) is what makes these walks a challenge.

There are several paths to get to the small, mud-walled, dirt floor church. Due to wrangling over the land, the landowners have cut off access to the more foot-friendly route.

Last week, with Evelyn effortlessly leading up front, we climbed a steep narrow path to church. Rains this week made it impassable today so we tried the last remaining, but technically difficult trail.

Most church-goers I know have easy access to Sunday services. Driving in air-conditioned comfort on smooth roads, walking nice sidewalks. There are very few physical obstacles to attending church in my old hometown area in Northern California. Countless spiritual or imagined obstacles, I’m sure.

In SW Uganda and throughout East Africa, women, children and some men will walk many kilometers, up and down steep paths to praise the Lord. Of course there are the man-made obstacles to attending but the physical barriers are simply surmounted.

Today, after climbing and descending steep, narrow pitches to attend worship services with my African wife and friends, we learned that the route we took today may soon be blocked, as part of this land dispute.

Once again, obstacles of our own creation could impact my worshipping with my neighbors. A shame. Hopefully the power of the spirit will prevail.

As the popular Christian song says, “God will make a way where there seems to be no way…”

Flight of Faith

“I’m sorry, Mr. Hill, the flight has now closed.”

What? Did I hear that correctly? I missed my flight to Entebbe?

My heart sank. My anger combusted in a second. I turned to face a representative, who asked what I needed.

“I just missed my fucking flight,” I muttered, bewildered by my immediate options.

“Sir, stop swearing or you won’t get any help,” she said. Fair enough. I just lost my cool. Actually, for an interminable moment, I lost my faith.

Obstacles and inconveniences are a part of life. They slow us down but don’t necessarily stop us. Most, if not all, can be surmounted. Our desire and ability to get past them shows God our fitness to serve him. Will we get sidetracked, lost or demonstrate resourcefulness to continue?

For months I have been living in the spirit and dealing with obstacles related to my video ministry trip. Stay calm, stay focused, and stay the course. it will all work out. To whom much has been given, much is expected.

I slumped at the customer service desk where an angel took my boarding pass, worked the computer and the phone.

God, I can’t miss this flight. What will I do? I just showed just how weak I am. Faced with a looming dilemma, my faith failed me. Yet God showed his steadfast faithfulness to me.

The angel was conversing with important people and got me back on the flight to Entebbe.

I had to go through security again, and did so pretty quickly. Then had to run around to find the gate while the message board still indicated the flight was “closing.”

Rushed to the gate and heard, “Mr. Hill?” One more check of ticket and passport and it was off to the jetway.

Now we’ve been sitting here for nearly 40 minutes as crews try to remove six bags from an individual who will not be on the flight.

Looks like I made this flight in plenty of time.

But my bags didn’t.

Once on the ground in Uganda, I discovered that my bags didn’t make the plane. Really? Despite the 45-minute delay they didn’t get on?

Another obstacle in my path. This time, though, I kept my cool and shrugged.