On Labor Day I went on a walk in the woods with my dog Fritz.  We’ve come to enjoy Day Pond here in town.  So you could find me huffing and puffing (Fritz pulling and straining) as we walked along the paths.  We came down a pretty steep hill, and with the rocky path and my hound pulling on his leash, my patience was wearing thin.  So much for a peaceful walk in the woods!  We came to a little creek and I found a way across without getting my shoes wet.  Success! Turning to Fritz, I encouraged him to come along the rocky path too.  Instead, he stubbornly trampled right through the water.  Shaking my head and Fritz defiantly shaking his whole body, I applauded myself for at least remembering to put a sheet down in the backseat of the car for the ride home.  With that creek crossing completed, we began going uphill.

Up ahead on the trail, there was a young man and woman.  Upon seeing us, they called out to say hello.  Phone in hand and looking from the screen to me and back to the screen, the young man sheepishly asked for help.  “What’s the matter?”  I asked.  The young woman jumped in, “We’ve been lost in these woods for TWO HOURS.”  He looked up at me with relief, “You have no idea how relieved we are to see another person.  We’re lost.  Could you direct us to Day Pond?”

Now I didn’t want to tell them how awful my directional sense happens to be, not in their moment of need!  Acting more confidently than I felt, I told them that if they went back on the path Fritz and I had just walked down and took a left—well, they would end up at Day Pond eventually.  They thanked me profusely and went on their way.  Turning back, I wanted to offer to go back with them if that would make them feel better, but they were already well on their way.  The hound and I carried on with our walk and ended up meeting up with them later in the parking lot.  It just so happened that we found them right as they emerged from the woods.  They thanked me again, and drove out of the parking lot soon after.

Sitting on a rock to catch my breath, I had to laugh.  What a weird encounter to meet two people lost in the woods.  How odd that they would need to rely on me of all people to help them get back to the park!  But that’s the funny thing about moments like this—sometimes we happen to be at the right place at the right time.  Was it a coincidence? Was it meant to be?  All I know for sure is that me helping people lost in the woods is another reminder that God certainly has a sense of humor!  And I’ll leave you with this thought–where may God need you coming up?

(This Week’s Thoughts 9.8.17)

Photo by Rev. Lauren Lorincz.