My daughter and I took a road trip to Phoenix to take care of my parents’ cats and house while they went to Texas for my aunt’s funeral. With a 12 hour drive from our house to theirs, we had lots of time to sing to Billy Joel and Beach Boys (my contributions) and Ke$ha (her contribution). Calm moments brought out worship songs. With boredom, we raided the food sack for trail mix, granola bars, jerky and potato chips. A lot of nothingness greets us on I-40 through New Mexico and northern Arizona. The scenery carried so many dust storms that my eyes burned. Beautiful silhouettes greeted us once we hit the Arizona mountains at twilight.
Somewhere around hour 7, both of us whined, “Why is it taking so looonnnggg?!”
Sometimes, I feel like my life’s journey is trapped in a car on a road trip. Somewhere in the middle of nowhere, where it’s hard to remember the hopeful excitement at the start of the journey and much too soon to think about journey’s end, I wonder, “How much further, Lord? When will I see some of the results for which I thought I labored long and hard?” Oh, I linger some places, see His hand at work and experience great joy. But, eventually, I have to get back in my soul’s car and sojourn to unexpected locales as I find my way home to the Father’s heart.
Jud and I experienced a traumatic church situation that ended about 6 years ago. Our spiritual road trip has taken us from valleys of desolation to God’s mountaintop of grace. Yet, the pilgrimage is ongoing and, once again, I’m asking, “Why is it taking so looonnnggg?!” Just when I think my heart is healed, a tried-to-forget memory invades the present and I have to get in the car of my soul to wander to more depths. Right now, I face one of those desolate times. I have a routine in preparing for a road trip: I paint my toenails a favorite shade, pick out favorite music and get some fun snacks to make the long hours go by faster. In preparing for this spiritual road trip, I’ve got some favorite worship music, some favorite Bible stories and I’ve painted my toenails a color called “Are We There Yet?” I know some of the spiritual scenery may burn my eyes with tears and the road may not offer a variety of beautiful things to see; but I also know that a destination will emerge and God will carve out a place to ‘restore my soul.’
Holy Spirit, I trust that You know where we’re going and how to get there.