It was getting late. We had spent the day visiting quaint little villages along the Canadian coastline, made a mad dash through St. John City Market, and noted the exposed roots of ancient oaks in the central park—downed by a recent hurricane. Tired and ready for a hot bath, we scoured the streets named King William, Queen Anne and Prince Albert near the wharf. Though we had circled through several times, we did not see any sign of Leaside Manor. Finally, we pulled over to call the reserved Bed and Breakfast, the shadow of a giant cruise liner blocking the afternoon sun.

“Can you give me a landmark?” the receptionist asked.

As I rattled off the street names, there was silence on the other end.

“I don’t know where you are, she finally said.

“But, I have my reservation confirmation,” I declared, now flustered.

At last she asked, “Are you in St. John or St. Johns?”

“I didn’t know there was a difference,” I moaned.

“You must be in St. John, New Brunswick. We are in St. Johns, Newfoundland…                    a thousand miles and a ferryboat ride away.

“Well, I suppose we will not be getting there tonight,” I said, bewildered. “You can cancel our reservation.

“Your cancellation is too late. You will have to pay for the room, anyway.

Flustered and frantic, I hung up the phone with an uncharacteristic, “Whatever.”

Have you ever been there? Stuck in an unfamiliar place and wondering just what wrong turn landed you so far from your intended destination? Plus, it was costing you—a relationship, a job, your health.

We did find a room for the night in a seedy motel, next to the noisy freeway with a greasy-spoon restaurant. It was not at all the elegant little B&B with the gourmet breakfast I had planned. It was a thousand miles and a ferryboat ride away.

As we headed to St. Martin on the Bay of Fundy the next day, we began to laugh. Who knew a little “s” could make such a difference? The Lord reminded me, once again, of II Corinthians 4:16—Do not lose heart.

Do not lose heart, whatever your circumstance,


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