Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Grüß Gott and Will Smith

The opening scene to The Bridge of San Luis Rey has all the main characters hurtling to their deaths, even before you get to know them.

"Great!" I shouted to my mom in the kitchen when I first read those lines. "Only two pages into this new homeschool English program, and I'm already scarred!  Geez."  Of course, teenage me read the whole thing anyway.

Still not my favorite or most recommended read.  But a theme of the high school book that stayed with me was the way people said goodbye to each other, translated as "Go with God."

Given that the characters all ended up falling off a bridge, I rather questioned where the Divine Being was leading them. Quo Vadis, Domine? (That's a good book, by the way.)

If you're a person who tries to follow God, that's a question you ask very often: "Where are you going, Lord?" Thing is, you don't get a detailed TripTik. Instead, you get "Come and see."  

Speaking of TripTiks and travel: right after I got married, my husband and I went to graduate school in Austria with a lot of enthusiasm and only one language. 

Here's where we lived: ain't it purty?

Photos courtesy of http://www.kartause-gaming.at/
You see, the plan was to get our degrees and then both go work for a few years to pay off the adventure. What actually happened is that I came back Stateside in May, six months pregnant.)  We did eventually pick up some German, enough to make that our second "go to" language when it's clear someone didn't understand English.  I caught myself about to explain my order in German to the confused Latina working at McDonald's just today, actually, when "one cone and one cup of ice cream, please" kept coming back as an upside down cone in a cup, or two empty cups and three spoons.  "Nein nein, ein Eis, bitte!"  Pretty sure that wouldn't have helped though.

At any rate: one of the first words we learned in Austria was the greeting used among the local villagers: Grüß Gott, which kinda means "God greet you" and, loosely, "Go with God."  I thought it was an awesome way to say hello, and an apt way to describe my first year of married life, with its much earlier onset of motherhood than I had expected. 

"Grüß Gott" came to mind since today's post is brought to you by the letter "G" :P It got me thinking about "going with God," and all the happy and scary and sorrowful and glorious places He has led me through in my life so far.  It certainly hasn't always been the path I would have chosen. 

But, despite the fact that life doesn't always work the way I wish and plan, I find He has always been there to lead me through dark valleys to the green pastures.

"God is our refuge and our strength, a very present help in time of need."  Psalm 46:1


  1. When I was growing up, my family was always saying " Go with God " or "Stay with God ". It depended on who was going and who was staying home. Even now that's what me and Andrzej say in Polish upon leaving the house.
    The book " Qvo vadis Domine? " is really wonderful; it helps that it is written by my favorite Polish author ever, Henryk Sienkiewicz :-)

  2. A great expression and something new to learn today. Just stopping by from the A to Z challenge.

  3. What a heartwarming story! The blessing/ wish is universal, isn't it?