My daughter, Ashley, and I will be starting a road trip this week. An unexpected block of 5 days not committed to work, coupled with the lure of seeing family, was too good to pass up. (Such spur of the moment trips necessitate car travel for lack of better planning and cheap airfares.) I am surprised she is willing to even consider such an excursion. Our last road trip together was a less than smooth ride.
Many years ago I enthusiastically sold my daughter on the idea of us hitting the road together in my little VW convertible Beetle. Our destination was Mississippi for a friend’s wedding, then down to Florida to see family. Half way into our first day of travel, my beloved bug broke down. Stranded on a road between two barely populated towns, in sweltering heat, with no air or restrooms and a teenage daughter, makes waiting several hours for a tow truck seem like eternity. Eventually a grizzly old mechanic in faded, torn overalls would pronounce my obviously overheated engine, “Froze solid”. I have come to learn this phrase is not as refreshing as it sounds on a hot day. Numerous hours and dollars later we waved good bye to my pitiful bug and continued our trip in a rental car. We would retrieve the repaired vehicle upon our return. We enjoyed the wedding and seeing family, but soon we were on the road once more headed home. In an effort to make up for our driving disaster, I promised Ashley we would splurge and stay at a nice hotel on the return trip. Did you know that North Carolina has a hockey team? Not only do they have a team, but their team won the Stanley cup that year! Yep, you guessed it, celebrants flooded all local lodging. Exit after exit, town after town, we heard “no room in the inn” . Who could blame her for never wanting to go on a road trip with me again? A pre-trip car tune up, well planned routes and hotel reservations may reduce, but can not eliminate, the uncertainty of the open road. Ultimately, the opportunity to be close to those we love is worth the uncertainty of the journey.
I am learning the uncertainty of my journey is worth the opportunity it gives me to be closer to God. In Sunday school the other day we were challenged to consider the uncertainty the disciples faced when they chose to follow Christ. Jesus even said,”The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.” Matt.8:20 When they left family and businesses behind , it was not for the promise of easy travel and good times. Those who followed Christ risked living a life of filled with unknowns. The result of their choice to join this journey was a uniquely intimate relationship with Christ, a front row seat to the advent of salvation. Maybe uncertainty is not so bad. I must admit I seek Him, and His will , more often in uncertain times. Uncertain circumstances in life can become an opportunity to be closer to God. As I continue on life’s road trip, with all its unknowns, I will bring along the things of which I am certain. I am certain He is sovereign. I am certain of salvation and the forgiveness of our sins through Christ. I am certain He holds my future. Time to pack and hit the road!