By Larry and Julie Rich, Independence, Missouri, USA
“God, where will you lead me today?”
My wife, Julie, and I often ask that while traveling. We wonder what God’s plan is for us.
Last fall we were out West, trying to add to the list of national parks and monuments we have visited. When looking at something that took millions of years to form, you realize how small you are in the scheme of things.
The mountains, vistas, and wildlife God has provided are endless. The people we have met have been a delight, and we keep in touch with several.
One destination stands out. We found a small canyon campground in Wyoming called Ayres Natural Bridge Park. We were there just one evening, but it was filled with witnessing opportunities.
The caretaker and a couple from Michigan were the only others in the park that night. While visiting about the area’s history, the caretaker, Doug, shared that there were places with evidence of civilizations predating the American Indians. The Book of Mormon quickly came to mind, and I prayed to be a good witness.
To my amazement, I was the one to receive the witness. Doug shared that he belonged to the Latter-day Saints church. He said he constantly was finding evidence of the Book of Mormon people. I mentioned my Community of Christ affiliation (Summit Grove Congregation), and we rejoiced in our shared heritage.
That night the five of us watched a movie projected onto a canyon wall; pretty cool. We ate popcorn, visited, laughed, and had a wonderful time.
The next morning, Bob, of the couple from Michigan, came to our rig. He seemed to have something he wanted to talk about, so we began to visit. He mentioned that he and his fiancé had enjoyed the previous evening. They had fun getting to know Julie and me, learning we both were ministers.
Bob paused, looked me in in the eye and asked if I would be willing to marry him and his fiancé. I responded, “Sure, I can do that,” followed by a smile and a hug.
I went into our rig and told Julie we wouldn’t be leaving for a while because we had to go to a wedding—and we would be in it. After explaining to her, we said a prayer and gave thanks for the opportunity to serve.
With Julie as witness, the wedding of Bob and Linda was performed under the natural bridge in the campground. After pictures, hugs, tears of joy, and contact information were shared, we returned to our trailer. With the glow of the Holy Spirit still in our hearts, I was reminded that God definitely had a plan for each of us.
After driving to the campground exit, we stopped to say goodbye to Doug. While there, Bob and Linda joined us in a last visit. All realized that our life journeys had crossed for a short, joyful time.
As Julie and I headed toward our next destination, I was thinking, “God, where will you lead me today?”