|Me, doing my best impression of a tourist.
My family planned a trip to see a Minnesota Twins game in July 2019. Target Field, where the Twins play, is almost two thousand miles from our home so we also planned some stops along the way. In Utah, we visited long time friends who had moved out of state several years before. In South Dakota, we stopped at a cafe with the same name as my younger son. Oh, and we went to this little place called Mount Rushmore. Maybe you've heard of it?
And then we drove the two thousand miles back home. Along the way we planned equally exiciting stops. In Iowa, we saw a musician who wasn't coming to the West Coast any time soon. And the Field of Dreams! In Colorado, we visited family. And in Las Vegas, Nevada we stayed at a fancy hotel - just because we could... and because I had a coupon.
Sure, we could have flown to Minneapolis. What took us a week each way could have been accomplished with a three hour flight. It probably would have been cheaper, too. But, oh, the things we would have missed along the way!
A candy museum. A gun museum. A cowboy museum. Three rounds of golf at three different miniature golf courses in the same mall. Watching a lightning storm set a field on fire. Countless small towns that claimed a connection to Laura Ingalls Wilder. A mid-America county fair. A hotel with hallways reminiscent of The Shining and showers that could be seen from the main room if you didn't turn on the lights properly. A picture opp next to a giant Green Giant statue. Finally getting my son a mug with his name on it. An underground cave tour.
What happens along the way is very important in Scripture. God's people were warned of armies, ambushes, and angels they would encounter along the way. Yet we wonder why things are difficult for us.
There was a stretch of highway in Wyoming that really made me nervous. We had been relying on our phone to direct us, and we hadn't had any problems. Yet, when it told us to turn off the main highway to go on another path for one hundred miles, then turn right and continue for fifty miles, I was suddenly aware of everything that could go wrong. What would happen if we lost cell reception? What would happen if we missed our turn? What would happen if we got a flat tire? We could see the fences of distant ranches, but we could not see people. We had to trust the way before us.
Life is too often like that Wyoming path. Uncertain. Unfamiliar. Unexpected. Maybe even undesired.
There is only one place to receive comfort in those moments:
Jesus said, “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust in me. There are many rooms in my Father’s house; I would not tell you this if it were not true. I am going there to prepare a place for you. After I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me so that you may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going." (John 14:1-4, NCV)
God has never abandoned me along the way, so why do I worry? I believe that God has revealed to me the way to the place where I am going, that place where I can finally be with Him in perfect peace. And I pray He alows me to enjoy the journey along the way.