Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; think about Him in all your ways, and He will guide you on the right paths. Proverbs 3:5-6
|My sister and I on vacation|
I grew up during the 60s and 70s, in a family that loved to travel. Some of my earliest memories are of traveling across the united states, looking at life from the rear view window of a VW bug. When my sister was born, our family went from three to four and our parents traded in the VW Bug for a VW Bus.
Oh the places we visited.
I’ve been out west in a blizzard so fierce we had to scrape ice from the inside of the windows. I’ve cooked an egg on the pavement in Death Valley, and spent several nights camping on top of what used to be Mount St. Helens. But only a small percentage of our time on the road was spent on major highways.
No, Daddy’s preferred method of travel was the Scenic Route. It became a family joke. We all knew better than to wonder out loud where a side road went. That was all the excuse our father needed to head out toward unknown adventure. Sometimes that adventure was exciting, ending with amazing vistas and views that my photographer father captured on film.
Other times . . . well . . . not so much.
I remember one afternoon all too well. We’d headed off down a road and gotten stuck in the mud. The road was little more than a dirt path and this was decades before cell phones. All we could do was pray someone else had a taste for adventure. Sure enough, just as the sun was racing toward the horizon, a huge truck, complete with towing package, rounded the bend. He was as surprised to see us as we were to see him.
He pulled us out in no time, refusing the money my dad tried to give him. When mom pushed, asking to know why he’d come down this road, he tipped back his cowboy hat and scratched his head. “I can’t really say. It just seemed like something I needed to do.”
That was one of my first introductions to the power of prayer, and I’ve never forgotten it. I’ve also never forgotten something else. The joy is in the journey, not just the destination.
Through the years I’ve come to realize God is a lot like my daddy. (I know it’s really the other way around, but humor me. I’m making a point here.) My Heavenly Father also likes to take the scenic route. He’ll drag me places I think are miles out of the way, putting my goal further and further from reach. Then boom, we round a corner and there stands what I was aiming for all along.
Or He leads me down a path that leaves me bogged down for months, and it’s only when look back that I see that time of stillness was what I needed. So often it’s in the mud that my hardest lessons and greatest joys have been realized.