Friday, June 15, 2012

Road Trips

Today begins vacation.  I love vacation.  This time it is a road trip and my ride to work this morning reminded me of some of my past road trip "complications."  I was detoured around construction to get onto the Parkway.  To make matters worse, the entrance I made my way to looks just like an entrance I take much more often and being early and not thinking, I did not take a moment to realize that left goes south instead of north on this entrance.  To make matters worse, I already got off to a late start.  Sometimes life is like a road trip. 

Whether we buy a map and highlight our own route, have an idea in our head of how to get there, go to AAA and get a TripTick, print out a Google Maps, or just enter our destination into our GPS, we always leave with a plan in mind.  We know what route we are taking and about how long it should take us to get there.  Sometimes, like my drive to the Outer Banks a couple of years ago, the ride goes just as planned.  Many times (probably more often than not), it does not. 

Many things can happen on a long ride.  There can be construction, accidents, and any number of other things that cause traffic.  I think just about every road trip encounters traffic at some point or another making things take longer than we anticipated.  Sometimes weather is a complication.  I remember having to stay overnight in West Virginia on my way from a trip to Tennessee because of heavy snow.  The trip was delayed and more costly, but we had to make safety our priority.  Detours are worse.  In fact, my worst driving experiences are generally caused by detours.  There was one drive to South Carolina where our route was detoured, the detour was detoured, and once we finally made it back to our route, we were detoured again.  It literally added hours to our trip.   Then there was that previously mentioned drive through West Virginia.  We were detoured when we first entered the state and the signs just stopped.  We were left hanging on the back roads of West Virginia.  Eventually, by the grace of a God I did not know at the time, we made it out.  Then there are the voluntary detours.  One time driving through Tennessee, my friend and I saw a sign for something we wanted to see.  Little did we know just how far off the interstate this place was! 

Driving also brings out many emotions.  There is the anger when someone cuts you off or drives too slow and you can not get around that person.  There is the frustration of traffic.  There is the hopelessness of being in never ending traffic with no end in site only to hear that the end is miles and miles away and there is no way around it.  There is the grueling monotony of hours and hours on the same interstate with nothing to see.  There is the weariness of long nights and early mornings on the road.  There is the joy of getting to your destination.  There is the that feeling of rest when you return home. 

And that is life.  Look at my posts throughout the past couple of years.  My wife and I had an idea of where were going, but now who knows where we even are or when we will finally get there!  We have been in detours, construction, weather, and just about everything else you can imagine.  We have felt everything but the joy of finally getting there and we are sustained by our hope that irregardless of what happens in the hear and now, someday we will be home and this will all be a long gone memory.  I am sure everyone has similar stories.  Some of yours are not as long as frustrating as ours.  Some of you wish yours was as easy as ours.  We all have our own drives, though.  We all have our own route.  We all have our own stops in this life.  However, in the end, we all have the same destination.  For now, we need to help each other if we see one stuck on the side of the road.  Whether they are out of gas and can not go any longer, whether they are lost and not sure where to go, whether they have a flat and just need someone to give them a hand, or whether there car has broken down and they need a lift.  We must make sure that our eyes are not so focused on where we are going that we do not take the time to stop and help those in need along the way. 

I know life can sometimes get hard and confusing and sometimes we do not know how things will work out.  We must have faith that they will.  God promises to work all things together for good for those who love Him.  That is not just some phrase we repeat to encourage ourselves, but a promise given by God to us.  No matter where you are or how far off course you may think you are, there is another promise I want to end with.  God bless you all and I look forward to writing again once I get back if not sooner.
The steps of a [good] man are ordered by the LORD, And He delights in his way.
Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; For the LORD upholds [him with] His hand.  Psalm 37:23-24 NKJV

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