I've talked about being overweight, partially disabled and middle aged, but have I told you that even with all of the aches and pains, I know that I know, that I know, that God isn't done with me yet? That He has called me to do this and that He has many things in mind for me to do accomplish before He calls me home. As I have mentioned before, I do in fact wonder why it is me that He has called to do these things.
Well the same can be said for my dear friend of 25 years Patrick Williams. Patrick knew that I had been trying to get my little tiny non-profit wanna be for the homeless off the ground, but it wasn't taking off as well as I would have liked it to. I often have a hard time remembering that it is not in My timing, but His. But Patrick has been one of my biggest supporters in my fight to end homelessness. He knows of my past and although he lives 800 miles away, we still talk almost every day.
We are very different, he and I, the first difference being our age. He is 12 years my senior but other than his thick crop of silver shite hair, you would never know his age by speaking with him and hearing about his ideas and passions. When it comes to politics, I am passionate about the homeless, street kids and battered women. Patrick on the other hand is passionate about politics. Period. He is highly educated, speaks in words I sometimes don't understand since I got my high school diploma through a snail mail course found on the back of the National Enquirer.
Where I am always on the go, rarely allowing time to let the grass grow under my feet, he is
laid back, slow walking, always contemplating decisions before deciding on the outcome. I am a spur of the moment, fly by the seat of my pants, always willing to take a chance kind of gal, he on the other hand doesn't. Oh he likes spur of the moment things, but he is not usually the one to implement them, but he knows that I am.
I called him up one day out of the blue and left a message saying, "I have the most scathingly brilliant idea." He returned my phone call almost immediately and I told him about the Change-for-Life awareness walk. "Wanna go?" I asked him. Without batting an eyelash, he said yes. I hoped he would, but this was not a 'hey let's go to the beach' type of spur of the moment trip. This was a trip that would take him away from his family for almost 5 months.
When I asked why he said yes, all he said was "Lynn I have learned over the years, either help or get out of the way."
I began making plans for the two of us to take this trip. He would drive up here from Sunnyvale, California somewhere around the 10th of April. We would rig his van with all of the touches of home we would need to sustain us on this 5 month adventure, like food, pots and pans, bedding, camping equipment and even shelving units to carry all of these things.
Although he is somewhat directionally challenged, I am not. As you know by now, I have laid out this trip step by step. Unless we can equip the van with a couple of pairs of Reebok's and camouflage it's appearance, Patrick will often have to take a different route than I, simply because there are no other places that I can walk, that the van cannot go. Since I don't think that is going to happen, I have lain out a second route for him to follow.
A month into the planning, I learned that Patrick was feeling somewhat useless, not being able to do much for the planning and as he thought he was only driving the van. When I asked him for a second time, why he said yes. His response was "Life with you has been a fun roller coaster ride and I just usually go along for the ride." Patrick may have thought I only needed him to drive the van that carries our equipment, but nothing could be further from the truth.
I cannot walk 20 miles a day. I am physically not able to do it. I blew the cartilage out of one knee, and shattered the others years ago. I have a bum hip and bad back due to do a work injury 18 months ago. Perhaps by the end of the trip, I will be able to walk better than I can now, but even with all of the training and preparing, I just can't seem to get past the 10 miles per day mark. My knees won't take it. So Patrick and I are going to tag team. I will take the first and last round of the day and Patrick will take the middle. But he is with me for so much more than playing "tag, you're it."
Patrick is a veteran of the Navy and is now a retired teacher. He will be the voice of the 200,000 plus homeless men and women who valiantly laid down their lives for their country and have now been let down by that same realm. Patrick will be walking because he cares deeply for this fellow Navy men and women, the Marines, Air Force, Army, and National Guard. He will be walking as representative for all the armed forces so they can continue to protect this great nation, knowing that when they come home, people like Patrick will protect them as well.
As I said earlier, Patrick and I have many differences, including our faith. He is an agnostic, where I am a follower of Christ. but it is through this agnostic, that this believer was reminded of a lesson that all Christians should live by.
I am not in control. God is. So why not sit back and enjoy the ride?