Saturday, June 8, 2019

Summer Travels

Many of you are in the middle of making plans for summer vacations.  I thought I'd share a piece from the book we hope to publish this summer.  Enjoy . . .

“We’re taking the scenic route.”

It became a family joke.  My dad was notorious for refusing to stop and ask for directions.  When I was a little girl, we didn’t have a constantly updating Global Positioning System to rely on.  Dad would have thought it unnecessary even if it had been available. 

The glove compartment of our yellow Rambler housed three or four poorly folded maps.  If we traveled over a hundred miles, Dad would briefly consult one of these the night before and select his route.  Everyone was to be in the car at 6 AM, ready to roll. Dad, who always drove unless he was sick, would not look at the map again.  He knew exactly where he was going and how he planned to get there.

Somehow we always arrived at our destination.  Eventually.  But at some point on nearly all of our family journeys, we would be treated to the argument that became a classic between Mom and Dad:

Mom: “Honey, are you sure we’re on the right road?”

Dad: “Yes, I know where I’m going.”

Mom:  “I don’t doubt you know where you’re going but is this the best way to get there?”

Foolish Sibling:  “I remember passing that house just before we stopped for the bathroom.”

Dad (rather sternly):  “Be quiet!  We passed another one that looked like that house.”

After the exchange, we would drive on for another hour or so with tension in the air.  The radio blared country music and no one dared to comment.  Finally, Dad (totally frustrated) would pull into a service station.

“Everyone go to the bathroom!”  He would order us children.  Then he would look at Mom,  “Before you say anything, I’m going to check with the attendant . . . . . just to make you happy.”

Most times, Dad was headed in the right direction.  His chosen route just needed a little tweaking or clarifying.  But for the times we would have to turn around because we missed a road, Mom would announce to us all, That’s alright.  We were taking the scenic route.”

A scenic route is great for vacation days and free times.  But no one wants to intentionally waste precious parts of his or her life journey.  Worse yet, are those travelers who feel they’ve completely missed their destiny due to poor directions or by having followed wrong information. 

Truth is vital for every traveler.

On this journey of life, we all want to live to the full.  But in order to do that, we must be clear on two important points:
1.     We must know where we’re going.
2.     We must search out the best route for getting there.

There is a great urban legend about a battleship navigating stormy weather in unfamiliar waters.  Just after dark, a thick blanket of fog enveloped the mighty naval vessel.  Anxious, the ship’s captain remained on the bridge.

Suddenly, one of the lookouts announced, “Fixed light off the starboard side.”

It was obvious they were on a direct path with some fishing vessel lost in the storm.  The captain ordered that they signal the other ship.

“Change course 20 degrees.  We are on a collision course.”

The answer came, “Advisable for you to change course.”

The captain became angry and signaled, “I am a battleship.  Change course!”

Back came the signal, “I am a lighthouse.  Your call.”

The captain almost caused the very catastrophe he was trying to avoid.  He needed better information.  He needed to re-evaluate his plan.  He needed the whole truth.

That’s what we hope to discover in this book by looking at key truths for managing our life journey well.  We’ll discuss how to identify genuine truth. We’ll highlight common roadblocks that hinder travel.  We’ll examine our intended destination.  We’ll re-examine our plans for getting there. 

Most importantly, we’ll acknowledge the One who set a course for our lives before we were ever born.  Paul wrote to his friends in Ephesus and put it this way,  “We are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

In other words, God knows the ideal course that will lead to your most fulfilling life.  He has already set plans in place that will move you and I toward the realization of our dreams.  We have only to listen carefully to His guidance.  Lean into the truth found in His word.

Solomon, the wise son of King David, composed one of the earliest scriptures I memorized.  He wrote:

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart.  Don’t lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your path.”  Proverbs 3:5-6

Doesn’t it just make sense that we should chose to follow the plans designed by Truth Himself; the One who created us?  At this point in my life I can tell you with great assurance, God is a Loving and Faithful travel companion.  You can trust Him to lead you on the surest, safest and most scenic route of all time!

 Here's to Enjoying the Journey!

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