A Portfolioof Wisdom and Inspiration

Appian Way

italy_roundel

Italy! Beautiful, colorful Italy! I awoke three weeks ago in Rome with such delight at being in this wonderful country. Desire welled up in my soul as I uttered these words to the Lord. . . “I have come to do Your will, Oh God (Hebrews 10:9). What do you want me to do?”

His reply was instantaneous. Surprisingly, He said, “Walk the APPIAN WAY.” Even though it was an unusual request, the words, “Of course, I will do it!” spilled from my spirit. Dimly, I remembered hearing of this ancient highway leading to Rome. What would I find on the Appian Way? This was like a treasure hunt ordained by God! He’d given me the first clue! When I was obedient to His Word, I hoped I would get an answer to what I was to do for Him in this lovely country.

It was not until my last day in Italy that I was able to head for the Appian Way…

“Stop! Stop! We want to walk!” I yelled in English to our Italian cab driver. In exasperation, he pulled off the road, threw his hands in the air and let my mother and me out of his cab. We had arrived at the entrance to the “Appia Antica” or the ancient Appian Way in Rome.

As we walked on this busy cobblestone street, God’s presence fell heavily upon me. The anointing increased at every step. “Why, I thought, is the Lord’s presence so strong? What does this mean?”

A sign caught my eye. It hung lazily on an ancient wall across the street — “Historical Sight” it read. My mother and I quickly crossed the road to investigate. We found the next “clue” on our ordained treasure hunt! History tells us that centuries ago, the apostle Peter was fleeing Rome on the Appian Way. He was facing certain death there at the hands of the Romans. Near the very place where we were standing, Jesus appeared to Peter. When Peter saw the resurrected Jesus, he asked Him, “Domini Quo Vadis?” or “Lord, where are You going?” Jesus responded, “I’m going to Rome” and Peter replied, “I’m going with You.” Peter knew he would be killed. He was crucified up-side-down in what is now St. Peter’s Square.

Domini Quo Vaidis church stood near-by. I hurried inside to pray. This is where I would hear God speak to me. “Father, what do You want me to do in Italy?” His voice was clear and strong. “I want you to establish a PRAYER BASE in Rome.” Silence filled my soul. I considered His command. From deep within, my small voice answered Him. “Yes, Lord. Of course, I will do it.”

I had come to do His will in Italy. This is what He asked of me. This is what, by His grace and enabling, by my husband’s support, and with the support of my family and friends, I will do.

May He be pleased with every step I take. I will remember the first step.

It began with simple obedience on the Appian Way.

Italy
October 1994

by Penny Sheahan