Matthew 6: 31-34 "Therefore do not be anxious, saying 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.'" (ESV)
I have no clue how many times I've read these verses, but EVERY time I read them I instantly feel completely taken care of. So far I've been in Los Angeles for a grand total of 5 hours, and I already feel completely secure in God's will for being here; using it as a time of rest and building up before I head out to a place that honestly scares me to death! (I've come a long way from the terror I felt when I first thought God was turning my life's direction and heart towards SouthEast Asia (praise God), but I still feel tinges of fear every now and then, whenever it really hits me just what He may be planning with or without me in the know.)
Don't get me wrong, I'm way stoked to be counted as even close to worthy to be used and sent halfway across the world (literally) and be a light and messenger for God. But there are times when I really don't know if I can do this. Thankfully, I don't have to. God's taken care of it already, all I've got to do is abide in Him and walk in His Spirit and presence. And praise God, He's already started with two big ones:
1st - I landed in LAX without a ride from the airport to Santa Monica due to scheduling issues, so it's either hang out in LAX for 8 hours until I can be picked up, or find my own ride. I decided to try to find the bus that would take me to the neighborhood, but no thanks to Google, I ended up wandering in the 95 degree heat with a 50lb bright orange/yellow backpacking pack in circles for 10 blocks, almost being run over by the classic "always-in-a-hurry" LA drivers more than half a dozen times. Once I figured out the right direction and start hoofing it down the street that will eventually meet up with the street I'm looking for, I decided "What the heck, why not try hitch-hiking?" So after saying a quick prayer asking for wisdom to turn down a sketchy ride, I hopped into the bike lane and stuck my arm out...and no more than 60 seconds later a silver Audi pulled up and John (Smith, we'll just call him cuz I didn't catch his last name) asks in typical cliché: "Where you headed?" I told him that I was just trying to find my way to the REI in Santa Monica where I'll meet up with my friend Luke who's currently at work. And what luck (or provision more likely), he's going to the library a block away from where it's located! We made small talk about why I was in LA, and why in the world God was sending me to Thailand, etc. All in all, John the electrician from Wisconsin and I had a pretty casual ride the remaining 20 minutes before dropping me off and going our separate ways, thanking him for the ride and the company. Thanks Dad!
2nd - So after meeting up with Luke and wandering around Santa Monica's 3rd Street Promenade (almost exactly like Denver's 16th street mall), I wandered into a nearby Starbucks to hop online and read til Luke gets off at 9. I spied a spot along the wall and sat down...right next to Leonard Espra. We started talking about each other's computers and where we're each from. He's from the Philippines and currently works as the personal assistant to the CEO of Delta Airlines, he says he's just hanging in the Starbucks waiting for a meeting, and long story short after showing each other pictures of our homes, work, etc he asked me the most random question I would've never expected: "Hey, my boss is taking out the yacht (seen in previous photos on facebook), for a small fishing trip with some friends on Monday, you can totally come along if you'd like! It'd be cool to continue hanging out and talking about life and random stuff with you." (Pause for a second. WHAT?!) I swear I was just hanging out with this guy and asking about life in the Philippines and how he ended up here when this came out of nowhere. So now I'm writing this while he's in his meeting; he just texted me and asked if we could go grab some food with Luke and I. God's too funny :)
So that's the beginning of my time in L.A., not at all what I expected, but I'm up for whatever God's got planned!