"…if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn’t get to Italy, you will never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things about Holland."
This is a quote from "Welcome to Holland", which we pasted in its entirety in this post. The wise men had to go with Plan B, something we often have to face in life! Carol closed off her sermon on Sunday by sharing the difficult verse where Jesus says that if you once put your hand to the plow and look back, you’re not fit for service. This was in response to someone who asked if he could first go back and talk to his family before following Jesus. But we know that Jesus often told people to go home to their families first. He was not saying not to go back, but we "return by a different route" (like the wise men). We see them in a different light, in a new way.
Just like seeing your situation in a different light, which is the lesson in "Welcome to Holland".
"Everyone you know is busy coming and going to and from Italy, and they’re all bragging about the great time they had there. For the rest of your life you will say, "Yes, that’s where I was going; that’s where I was supposed to go; that’s what I planned". The pain of that will never go away and you accept that pain because the loss of that dream, the loss of that plan, is a very significant loss."
The article is meant for people who get the unexpected diagnosis that their child is handicapped. Those who are "coming and going to and from Italy" aren’t necessarily bragging, but of course you can’t help but notice the difference. In our own recent situation, the disappointment about not being able to get a University degree is Sam’s "Holland". He knows that there are lovely things about Holland though, even though it’s quite different from Italy!
By the way, "11 Pipers-piping" is for the 11 apostles, not counting Judas since he was a traitor. The short devotional is definitely moving… reminds me of the shepherds.