Bruce picStanding at a crossroads 120 miles outside of Moscow, the fields stretched to the horizon. We were stuck, waiting for a guide to take us to the next camping destination. There were 7 of us in total, just getting to know each other.

Someone mentioned that Russia covered 11 time zones stretching from St. Petersburg to the Bering Sea. It is so big that it was hard to picture its immensity. So I asked, “Does anyone have a map?” No one did, and of course, and there was not a 7-Eleven in the country.

A few minutes later I was standing in a grove of trees having a private moment. Looking up I saw a newly ploughed field and a white paper of some kind resting about 25 yards away. With another hour to wait, I thought I’d check it out.

As I approached I saw that it had a colored shape and that it was bigger than I first thought, about 2 feet by 3 feet. Moving closer the hair on the back of my neck stood up. I’m sure my eyes were huge. Yes, it looked like a map. A paper map of Russia, all 11 time zones.

Some seeming miracles can be explained by the random chance of circumstance. But not this one…a paper map, in the middle of a newly ploughed field in the “middle of nowhere” in Russia? Indeed, the miracle of the map.

I clearly don’t know how it got there, but it became clear why it was there. As I scrambled up the bank to rejoin my companions I showed them my “miracle map.” Each was amazed, or even incredulous, to put it mildly. Then we gathered around and began to use the map. We used it to understand the size of the country, and used it to share what God was doing across that immense nation.

Because of the map, we bonded in an usual way. Although from different backgrounds, our common interest was impacting the youth of the nation. Impacting and attracting them to a new life with Jesus at the center. We each believed the following: “Christian camps are the most effective means of reaching the most receptive hearts.”™

Because of that map my life was changed. What evolved from that experience and what came afterwards impacted my life in so many ways. What it led me to, was the vision of a lifetime of service. Retirement years that are filled with challenging opportunities and informed by the experiences of a long life, and the big miracles plus the gentle nudges that God uses to direct our paths.

So how about you? What have been the miracles and the gentle nudges that have guided you on your life’s journey? I rest easier knowing that miracles still happen. What is the miracles have you witnessed in your life?

Let me know your thoughts and comments. Our dialogue continues.

Living with Trusted Advice together

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