You may or may not be familiar with the phrase “road trip” depending on your age. That phrase, though, defined a generation and coined many phrases that are in the American lexicon of nostalgia. There was a time when friends or family got into their car and were not perfectly sure of their accommodations for the night. A detour, mistake or too leisurely a pace could lead to the roll up to a motel only to see the dreaded “NO VACANCY” sign brightly lit. Those were the days of no cell phones and long before Kayak or Hotels.com ever existed. It was a time when even a short journey could be a risk.
Life’s journey could also be described in similar ways. There are times when staying close to home is the best choice, and there are times when a journey to an unfamiliar place is necessary. Sometimes we have the perfect route or plan, and other times it all comes unglued and we are left stranded with no one to help us or keep us safe. There are times when we are sure that death of one kind or another is imminent. Sometimes the trip is impromptu and full of dangers we never counted on. Sometimes the worst is real and our soul takes a beating we don’t know how to recover from. There seems to be no shelter from the ongoing storm, no place to heal.
The journey can be full of joy too, surprises we never counted on, new friends and things to treasure. But what about the “bumpy ride”- the part of the trip that never seems to find that straight road? I guess that depends on who your travel companion is. Who is in the “shot gun” seat? If it’s God who is your co-pilot, pay closer attention. Besides all of the things that were said and done when Jesus was with us, there is an even richer reality of who the Father is. This is one of the important points that shows us the necessity of doing the work that it takes to get to know the Trinity. In a stunning example, we recognize that as far as the journey is concerned, God offers us his endless hospitality, and that particular hospitality heals and teaches us how to continue to minister with an open heart no matter what the circumstances appear to be.
Sometimes He calls us to a particular kind of journey. It might not even be one that we are looking forward to. Even when it seems that the “trip” has gone off of the rails and is heading nowhere though, God still accompanies. He never denies his wisdom, support, direction, companionship. His will to spend endless time with us never changes. It’s we who change. Sometimes we turn our back, we ignore the directions, we don’t like the answer we’ve gotten. It’s always us, though, who leave, not God who leaves us. He shelters our will, our spirit, our ego, our heart no matter where we have traveled physically or emotionally. As far as his children are concerned, the ability to shelter with him is always there for us. In the economy of God, the “Vacancy” sign is always lit. No cell phone connection, no reservations, no problem! Road trip!!!!
©2016, Kathryn M. Cunningham