My husband and I recently had the opportunity to visit Venice and it was a dream come true. We had a ball exploring the winding streets and along the canals. We always started out with a destination in mind, but soon got lost in the maze. We felt like mice looking for cheese at the other end. But what fun to be lost! Shops along the way were full of lovely jewelry made of Italian glass, fashionable clothes, leather shoes and purses, and of course, Venetian masks. Plus there was pizza, gelato, and pastries galore to be sampled. Our favorite treat was their hazelnut brittle – one inch thick and cut into pie shaped wedges.

Although there are dozens of fabulously ornate cathedrals, you can’t see them until you reach an open piazza. Once spotted after a few turns in the narrow walkways, you’re lost again. The signs are helpful though, especially for St. Mark’s Square. It seems like no matter which way you turn there is a sign pointing the way to the most famous church on the island. We had to laugh when we saw a t-shirt with two arrows pointing in opposite directions, each declaring “Per San Marco.”

However, with no schedule to keep, we were able to meander up streets and down, wander the small side canals, and eventually find our way to each destination relaxed and happy. Each surprise we met with on the way just added to the sense of discovery and delight. I think that’s an attitude I need more in my walk with Christ.

Too often I have an idea in my head where I want to go and when I want to arrive, and so often miss the delightful people and experiences He intends for me to enjoy along the way. Instead of poking around in His Word for delectable morsels and treasures, I’m desperately craning my neck to get a glimpse of the future. Where is that cheese anyway?! Instead of putting my hand in His and strolling along beautiful waterways and crossing bridges from here to there, too often I badger my Savior about where He’s leading me and when we might arrive.

How much better it is when I trust Him to lead me through the maze of life. Then I can relax, get to know others on the road, and let Him accomplish His purpose for me each day. So many of us love the promise He gave the Israelites in Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” He also reminds us in Proverbs 19:21, “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.”

Yes, there is work to be done, and we should make plans and set goals, yet not forget to enjoy the journey on the way. I hope these photos from our trip help you pause for a moment breathe in the beauty of that city and imagine yourself walking the streets of life with Jesus in trust and joy.