Jennifer Condit Montgomery of Kansas City, MO, USA
The wolf shall live with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the kid, the calf and the lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them. They will not hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain; for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. -Isaiah 11:6, 9
On June 14, I met my parents in Oakland, California. They flew in to attend the memorial service for my father’s last sibling, my own Aunt Eunice. They are not young, and although they had lived in the Bay Area for more than a decade and had visited there numerous times over the intervening years, they no longer felt comfortable coming into a strange airport, finding their way on new freeways to their hotel, and then searching for the park where the memorial was to be held. I didn’t blame them. I had been in that area a number of times in more recent years as part of my work, however, and I was comfortable with driving. I had unused airline points, so I volunteered to be their chauffeur.
Well, the Google Maps app picked rush hour in Oakland to malfunction. It had me looping through the Port of Oakland and twice through the Port of Richmond. It did its best to convince me to “turn left here,” and drive onto the walking path beside the San Francisco Bay-going south instead of north, at that. It then had us in a very rough neighborhood before propelling us onto the approach to the long, arching Richmond Bridge to the opposite side of the Bay…and back over again to the same neighborhood. Mom called my attention to the numerous sailboats on the Bay. All I could think was, “Please, please don’t let there be an earthquake.”
I called the hotel and received detailed directions, which my mother wrote down. We didn’t learn until we finally reached the hotel that the clerk had thought we were on an entirely different freeway and coming from the opposite direction. It is safe to say that I probably drove at least once on every freeway in the East Bay-and they are myriad. We even found ourselves at one time circling through Sausalito and onto Highway 101, heading north up the coast.
I was past worried, into the frantic stage, and right at the point of panic. I was irritated with my mother for staying so calm, and even being able to giggle over the misadventure. My father was in the backseat, quiet and calm. After two hours of wandering around and multiple phone reboots, I found a street where I could pull over and reboot once again. This time the app worked perfectly, and like a miracle, took us directly to our hotel.
It hit me hard as we pulled into the parking lot that my parents had been praying with all their might for our safety, and that we would find our way. My father’s silence was because he was praying, and not only did he trust God, he trusted me. My mom was praying also, and her laughter kept me from going right over the edge. It brought home to me the power of prayer and God’s mandate that we pray for each other, and that no problem is too small, and certainly, no petition is too great. It is that simple, and it is that profound.
May I always find myself in constant prayer for those around me.
Let gratitude show you the way (Doctrine and Covenants Section 165:2b).
Gratitude is an important spiritual practice that invites us to see all of life as a gift. We give thanks for our breath, the food we eat, people we love, and all that we have that truly matters. We remember that we are connected and sustained by a web of relationships with creation, God, and other people. Take time each day this month to practice giving thanks and to consider-for what am I most grateful?
Today’s Prayer for Peace
Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.