Oh, the places you will go!

"Oh the places you will go" by Ellen Mongan (CatholicMom.com)

Image credit: Pixabay.com (2016), CC0/PD

“All Aboard!” These familiar words always bring joy to my soul. To me they mean a journey is ahead for me, maybe a road trip or a vacation. Everybody needs to get away from time to time. A break from the ordinary routine of your life sometimes sets you in a new direction, can help you see more clearly, and gives you the time to refocus. Most importantly, it recharges you!

Trips have a way of bringing out that adventurous spirit in us. Those words cause an instant response as I automatically raise my hand and the words “I’m in!” flow freely from my mouth. Life is an adventure.

I wonder if Mrs. Noah felt that way. “Mrs. Noah” is my nickname for her, since her name is not mentioned in any of the passages. We do know, however, that God calls her by name. As I read Genesis 6 and 7, I cannot help but wonder what her response was when her husband presented the idea to her to take a boat trip with the entire family. Did she automatically raise her hand saying, “I’m in!” with a smile on her face that says I love an adventure? Or was she saying to herself, “What is Noah thinking?” Did she complain with the words, “No one asked me”? I am almost certain that I would have.

Who of us would have been up for a boat trip to an unknown destination, with their whole family under the same roof for forty days and forty nights? Did I mention an entire zoo was invited to tag along? Who is now ready to shout, “I’m in!”? I guess even those of us who have the most adventurous of spirits would have thoroughly investigated our husband’s plan at that point. I, for one, would have asked him at least twenty questions and wanted some answers before even boarding the homemade ark. I think I would have made some suggestions too. “Do you know what I think, dear?” I would say.

I can hear Noah responding, “But dear, it isn’t my idea!”

I envision Mrs. Noah saying angrily, “Then whose idea is it!”

With a boyish grin on his face and a heart full of faith, Noah would reply, “It was God’s idea!” How could she argue with that? Even though we know Noah was telling the truth, I am pretty sure Mrs. Noah had trouble believing him.

However when God closed the door of the ark, Noah and his wife had confirmation that the ark was headed in the direction of God’s will. Even though they did not know the course their life would take for the next forty days and forty nights, they were safe inside on a ride with God as their guide. They grew in faith, hope, love, and obedience. What an example for all of us to follow.

Lately, God has been speaking to me from the story of Noah. Deacon Patrick and I are on an adventure. Our GPS is set for God’s will. In the short time that my husband has been a deacon we have been in five churches in three states, and lived in six homes. The words spoken in the homily at my husband’s ordination weekend often float through my mind, “Oh the places you will go!” I chuckle to myself, “Dr. Seuss is right!”

You see, when you journey with God, your life is not your own. The words spoken by the Blessed Mother, “Do whatever He tells you,” are always in the forefront of our minds. We also go wherever God send us. Being in the center of God’s will is where the grace is found, where your gifts will be used, and where the joy of the Lord will fill your soul.

All I can say is Deacon Pat has not asked me to board an ark with him yet. It is a good thing, too, because God knows I do not pack light and animals are not my thing. Our new destination is Viera, Florida, at St. John’s the Evangelist Church. We both feel we are finally home.

I know from experience that when I embark on a new adventure, worry can set in. Questions can begin to surface and we might begin to doubt our decision. It is then that I remember Mr. and Mrs. Noah. Reading about their adventure aboard the ark helps me to stay the course.

When my daughter Kaitlin was around four years old, she and her friend Miriam were acting out the story of Noah with me. I was Noah, of course. Miriam and Kaitlin both played the part of Mrs. Noah. A record was playing the story in the background. As the reader said, “The rain poured down hard,” I added, “Oh my!” Then I gasped. Miriam said in her Mrs. Noah voice, “Don’t be afraid, Noah.” Patting me on the shoulder, she added in her own voice, “You’re funny, Aunt Ellen. Noah never worried.”

Miriam was right. Safe in the ark, Noah was unafraid, smoothly sailing along in God’s will. We too can sail along with the same confidence, knowing God is the captain of the ship of our life.

What is the GPS of your life set for? If your GPS is set for God’s will, you may find yourself on an adventure as well. As you sail to and fro, try to listen for his voice and do whatever He tells you. It may seem a bit confusing at times, and you may face a storm or two. Do not be afraid. As long as you let God be in charge of opening and closing the doors, it is all good. Whatever you do, don’t exit before you see the dove bringing a sign your way.

Oh, the places you will go! Don’t be surprised if in the future God calls you to set a course for a new direction. You will know because He will call you by name, just as he called Noah and his wife. What was her name anyway?

Copyright 2019 Ellen Mongan


About Author

Ellen Mongan, a Catholic writer and speaker, has been married more than 40 years to Deacon Pat Mongan. They have 7 children and 12 grandchildren. Ellen is a host of WOW Radio Podcasts, a religious columnist for the Augusta Chronicle, and has spoken on both radio and television. She is the founder of Sisters in Christ, Little Pink Dress Ministry, and Women-Fests.

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