By Melanie Mar Chow
In my Mirrored Reflections chapter, I commented on how my husband Bruce and I feel called to be ready to follow God’s lead at any moment’s notice, even to the point of having our suitcases packed and ready to go when such occasions arise. As such, in the past few months, I have been gifted with opportunities to leave my home in California to be whisked to various places and people of prominence. Through all my travels, I’ve marveled at God’s wonderful orchestration of my life and recently have begun pondering how easy it is for us to take for granted the small, everyday mercies that occur while living in God’s care.
Even from the first moments of my most recent trip, to simply arrive on time to the airport in LA traffic is an exercise in faith. Then, upon arrival at the airport comes the nerve-wrecking possibility that circumstances may, in fact, depend upon the TSA. Fear hits as my baggage is set aside to be inspected, and the possibility that I packed some nature of contraband alludes to the harsh reality of my fading memory and my many imperfections. I breathe a sigh of relief as I find that it is only my harmless electric rollers that set off unnecessary alarm!
In the waiting area, happy to have scored a discarded Life section of a newspaper, I await in hope for an aisle seat, being on a carrier without prior seating assignments. Victory! A kind passenger hefts my carry-on above the prized seat. I pause, giving thanks that I wasn’t party to striking others with my suitcase. I then dodge other passengers with their large suitcases, obliging their unspoken request for my right elbow removal as they pass. Dare I still doubt that God is in control? Along with 100 other passengers entrusting their lives to the pilots, the technologically-boosted “air bullet” thrusts into the skies, buffeted by head winds, turbulence coming our way. If the 2-hour flight at 30,000 feet doesn’t bring about a sense of closeness to God, then surely the marvel that the planes land smoothly in wind and rain-challenged visibility will. Still not enough? I am gifted with a tiny simulation of how CBS show Amazing Race participants feel when entering a cab and although the driver is unsure of the destination, they arrive 15 minutes early. The trip continues with God-ordained opportunities to meet and share about my work in ministry that will have to wait for another blog entry or likely remain a private journal entry. However, these divine appointments included the blessing of meeting wonderful people who had the exact tidbit of leadership experience/knowledge of life to encourage me, unknowingly delivered in passing conversation.
Each trip taken affords experiences that show more and more of God’s care. Witnessing God’s sovereignty and control of my life, it seems only appropriate that I should sing something like the Hallelujah chorus in response — and yet I don’t thank Him enough. Do you see God’s work in your daily life and give thanks in response? In this Thanksgiving season, I am reminded to count my every blessing, giving abundant praise to the One who has given so much to be thankful for.
Rev. Melanie Mar Chow serves God through Asian American Christian Fellowship, the campus ministry division of the Japanese Evangelical Missionary Society (JEMS). She has been an ordained American Baptist minister since 2004. A Pacific Northwest native, she currently lives with her husband and daughter in Southern California. To contact Melanie, please send your inquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org.