The children and I took a road trip this past week, thus why there has been a hiatus in my entries. We had a wonderful time together, and I arrived home realizing the great value of spending many hours in a 6 foot by 12 foot Suburban. Upon our return trip, I commented to my thirteen year old daughter that I had hoped to have more inspirational moments to write about on our trip. She responded, “Mom, maybe God just wanted you to have fun and relax.” How wise and wonderful of her to notice.
I then asked the children if they had any inspirations from the trip, and this is what they shared. Some are common (some are silly), but I love what came from their hearts.
1. You don’t have to have to go on fancy trips to have fun. This road trip, although not packed with roller coaster rides and playful characters, was touted to be the best ever – better than the time we went to Disney World, even.
2. Things don’t make you happy. Being with your family makes you happy.
3. Root bear and chocolate fudge can make you really sick to your stomach.
4. On road trips, you can stop when you want and check out new things.
5. One learns a lot of patience driving long distances and living in close quarters, but it does make for closer relationships.
6. Trying out new things, like exploring underground caves, does not have to be scary, it can actually be exciting.
7. Just because something looks run down on the outside, it does not mean it is in the inside. (This was noted after we pulled up to our hotel in an old historic area. The kids said, almost in unison, “Are you sure about this, Mom?” Later that day, they thought the hotel was the coolest one they had ever been in – it was old, historic, had a “real” key and didn’t even have a pool!)
8. You shouldn't rush on a road trip, because you may miss special treasures along the way.
9. Old fashioned toys are a lot of fun.
10. If you miss an exit, you can still get back on the right road if you listen to the GPS or read a map.
After arriving home, unpacking, catching up on sleep, doing laundry and trying to get back in to life, I began to think about the road trip I’ve been on lately, traveling this trial. Sometimes, I’d like to just fly to the destination, but I am learning that traveling along, following God’s lead, enjoying the scenery along the way has great value. There are bumps in the road, detours, and changes in plans, but He is always ready and able to show us the way or get us back on course, even when we get off at the wrong exit. If we hurry through it, we do miss special treasures that He has for us – sometimes they are lessons about Him or ourselves learned in difficult situations, and sometimes they are gifts given by Him for our enjoyment. The world may call us to things, but God calls us to each other and to Himself; this is critical. We have a choice. And lastly, sometimes we are asked by God to do something that we have not done before. This requires a lot of faith, but the outcome is often surprisingly amazing.
I guess there were a few things that I learned from God, via my children. However, perhaps the most valued lessons I learned is that even amidst a time of great trial, God does give us moments of enjoyment, when we can just sit back and allow His love for us, to shower over us. Psalm 31:21 says, “He showed His wonderful love to me.” Yes, it is true. He did on a road trip that I will never forget. Dear reader, look for opportunities to enjoy the delight of His love, no matter where you are.