Ebe's Guidance Was Good, But God's Is Better
- Written by Lon Lorton Lon Lorton
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths.” Proverbs 3:5 ESV
It’s time for me to give an update on the Lorton household. Most of you know that my mother has moved in with Pat and me. It was sometime back in April, after we knew that my brother Len would be at St. Louis University Hospital for the long haul, receiving his regimen of chemotherapy that may go on for several more months. His form of leukemia is a tough one to beat and the side effects are difficult, too. He’s been hospitalized now for nearly five months, going back to the illness that led to his diagnosis.
Len and Mom shared an apartment in Macomb, Illinois. We convinced her that it would be better for her to live with us rather than by herself. More convincing was the fact that we can get her to St. Louis a lot more often from Kentucky than we could if she stayed in her apartment. So, Len is in a strange place as he battles cancer. Mom is in a strange place as she is living under someone else’s roof for the first time in her nearly 92 years of living. And Pat and I are in a strange place as we all are trying to figure out a new normal on the fly.
Are our circumstances different from what anyone else has ever had to go through? No, but it is our first go at it. So, as Len plays out his new reality, Mom, Pat and I are living ours out, too. And we are glad to be able to live it out together.
Back in the day, we got road maps at Ebe’s Standard gas station on Gridley Street before taking off on an adventure in Dad’s Rambler Custom (it was a luxurious station wagon with the playroom for us kids in the back). Those road maps always amazed me. As Dad drove down the road, Mom was ever unfolding the map as we drove on and on. If we crossed state lines, it was necessary for Mom to always say, “Well, that map’s finished. Time to open up the next one!” Wasn’t that cool? Now we just pull our cell phone out and put in an address somewhere on the other side of the country and bam, in about ten seconds you have the entire route laid out before you. It even tells you that you’ll reach your destination in 7 hours, 23 minutes. The interesting thing is that if I stop for coffee, or a restroom, or a meal, or if I stretch at the rest stop, that little notification in the bottom left hand corner keeps re-calibrating - 7 hours, 42 minutes…8 hours, 12 minutes…8 hours, 33 minutes.
Do you see where I’m going here – no pun intended? Regardless of the traffic and turns, the stops and detours, that little notification just keeps on giving us the information we should be focused on. Your destination and the timing are there, always at the ready.
I wish I could say it’s always smooth sailing for the Lorton family. I wish I could tell you I’m as good a person as my dog thinks I am. What I can tell you is that when life happens, it’s best to have God as our constant. I cannot imagine what life would be like without His Holy Spirit guiding us. My understanding of things is not always so good. However, God’s understanding is perfect. My advice to you and myself - trust God with everything you’ve got, don’t lean on your own understanding, and acknowledge the Lord. He will make our paths straight, day by day.