In Part 1 of Lessons Learned from a Road Trip, we looked at some lessons I learned on my recent drive from NC to CO.
Today, we’ll look at some ways to enjoy how God is working in the journey.
Document the journey to see how far you’ve come. You know, you can’t drive with your eyes closed. Well, you can…but you won’t get very far and the outcome won’t be good. There’s so much to see and enjoy on the journey that you wouldn’t want to miss it anyway. One of the frustrations about driving alone is that it’s hard to take pictures while you are driving. I was able to click off some shots with my phone but I missed a lot of things that I really wanted to photograph. It’s okay though because I’ll remember those things for a while. And I’ll keep the pictures I was able to take and the words I’ll write to help me remember.
The trip may be long, but eventually we all arrive at our destination. By documenting where you’ve come from, where you’re going, and how you will get there, you can look back on the journey and see how far God has brought you. Life’s journey won’t be measured in hours or miles like a road trip. It will be measured in successes and failures, scars and celebrations. And I don’t want to miss or forget a minute of it!
Trust that lane closures are for your own good. It seemed that I spent an inordinate amount of time one day in one lane with an endless supply of orange barrels blocking off the other lane. That’s not weird when you can see actual work going on behind the barricades. It is weird when you drive for miles without seeing a worker, a piece of equipment, a torn up road, or anything that would indicate work is being done. The only evidence of work was the reduced speed limit and the orange barrels. I wanted nothing more than to change lanes and zoom around the cars in front of me!
But I believe life can be just like that too. Everything appears to be going smoothly. So smoothly in fact that we get a little bored. We want to change lanes and speed up a bit. But for his purposes, God prefers to keep us in the same lane at a lower speed than normal. He’s preparing us for what he can see that we can’t.
In life, we may think we know which lane we ought to be in. We often want to move at our own pace, and sometimes we even want to ignore the warning signs. But only God truly knows what’s ahead. So when he keeps us in one lane at a reduced speed, he may be protecting us from a hazard that we can’t yet see.
Objects in mirror are closer than they appear. How many times have you been driving on an apparently empty stretch of road, only to find a car in your blind spot just as you decide to change lanes? You never even noticed it was back there until you almost crashed into it.
That’s the way the devil works in our lives. He will attack from all angles but one of his favorite ways to get us is to sneak up from behind when we aren’t paying attention. Before we know it, he’s right there in our blind spot and we have to swerve to avoid running into him. Paying attention to God’s preparations and his warnings will protect us from what lies ahead and what’s bringing up the rear.
The final day of my journey dawned bright and clear. With Kansas City in my rearview mirror, I headed west. Next stop: Colorado Springs. The scenery on this day was amazing. Kansas is farm country so you can imagine that I saw lots of barns and silos! The road was long and straight and flat and with the sun shining, you could see for miles. Rivers were sparkling and bridges were beautiful. I even came across something I’d never seen before. At first I thought it was a city skyline in the distance, but as I got closer, the magical windmill farm came into focus. Literally hundreds of windmills were on both sides of the road and I was mesmerized as I drove.
Sometimes the journey is just the respite we need. The road is long and straight and flat. The speed limit is fast. The views are wonderful. And there is little to distract you from enjoying the journey. I believe those are the days God is just having some fun with us. He wants us to stop and enjoy the beauty around us. Take a few pictures. And enjoy the breather.
What about you? Where are you seeing a respite from God in your journey?