I hope you’re having a fabulous summer! I’ve got some exciting news to tell you, but I think I’ll wait until next week. In the meantime, I’d like to share a really sweet moment from my Epic European vacation earlier this year. Blessings!
I’m not really a museum person. I like them. And I can easily wander around museums for hours, but they’re just not on the top of my list of things to do while on vacation.
So as I was preparing for my trip to Europe, I remember telling one of my co-workers that I did not plan to visit the Louvre during my one free day in Paris. I wasn’t really interested in seeing Mona Lisa, there are plenty of fine museums right here in New York, and it would just take up too much time! Perhaps if it was a rainy day, I’d make time to stop by the museum. But I wouldn’t make any promises. I remember my co-worker just kinda asking me if I was sure. When else would I get the opportunity to see those world famous works of art?
Fast forward to being in Paris on the first night of the tour. I was making tentative plans with my new friend from the trip. We’d start our free day by the Eiffel Tower then make our way towards the Louvre to take some quick pics outside the famed museum and quickly continue on to Notre Dame and beyond. Perfect!
Others on the trip were planning to head straight to the Louvre. They were on a mission to see Mona Lisa. Not me! I knew there were fast passes you could buy to bypass the long lines. I kept hearing you had to get to the museum super early, especially on a Saturday, to beat the crowds. I was just not interested!
Not only did I not want to fight the crowds, but people kept saying the painting was so small. Why would I stand on line for hours and pay to see a painting that was sounding like it was the size of a postage stamp? Nope. Not on my one free day in Paris!
But God had other plans! And I’m so grateful!
That beautiful Saturday morning my friend and I changed our plans. We decided to start our day by taking the train to the Louvre to take a few shots outside, and then make our way to Notre Dame, and end the day by the Eiffel Tower.
When we got off the train, we had no idea which way to go. My friend suggested we go to the right. As we were still looking for the exit from the underground station, we found ourselves on some sort of line. Huh?
We took a look at what everyone was waiting for and we were shocked to find out that somehow we were on line at what seemed like a hidden entrance to the Louvre! That was not on our schedule!
I was tempted to jump off the line. I envisioned waiting on this line for two hours and spending another few hours in the museum. No way! And how much would it cost? All just to see a postage stamp?
I’m so glad I was wrong about all of it!
We ended up having to wait only about 15 minutes to get inside and the tickets were a reasonable price. Within minutes we were in the Louvre and searching for Mona Lisa.
We figured with all the signs pointing to where she was and the ginormous crowd that must be surrounding her, there was no way to miss her. Wrong again.
We walked down the enormous hallway lined with large, lovely paintings and somehow walked right past the room with Mona Lisa.
My friend and I missed the world-renowned painting because to our amazement there was no crowd! Once we found the room, we just walked right up and stood within inches of the Mona Lisa that is protected behind glass.
For much of our time there, we were some of the only people in the room. Here’s some pictures I snapped.
It was in those moments of having fun taking pictures and videos that I was so touched to think that my Heavenly Father didn’t want me to leave Paris without seeing Mona Lisa in person.
He directed our steps to get to the museum, parted the way through the crowds, and gave us an up close look at a masterpiece. Sweet!
Guess what? The painting is much larger than a postage stamp! But you couldn’t tell if you were stuck in the middle of the crowds. And the crowds did come and go, but it didn’t matter. We had already gotten our face time with Mona Lisa.
And we went on to see the Venus de Milo statue (after some searching!) and sculptures by the one and only Michelangelo.
I couldn’t resist taking pics with those works of art and was reminded that we are God’s living masterpieces!
The surprise meeting with Mona Lisa was just another reminder that God is always orchestrating our life. He has a good plan for us, and we should embrace some of that mystery and uncertainty. We can trust Him.
God delights in surprising us! Will you let Him surprise you, too? Will you allow Him to lead and guide you where He wants to take you? You might just end up coming face-to-face with something as beautiful as the Mona Lisa!
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