A good friend who is no longer with us was fond of saying that when God wants to teach us something, He takes us on a trip. I love that idea. Kind of like She is riding “shotgun” next to us, and of all the possible trips we can take, the most insightful, instructive, and inspiring, a road trip wins out, hands down. Extra points for other people in the car.
A road trip requires us to pack for the trip to the best of our ability, and yet it teaches us that we can never be prepared for every contingency, and if we try, we will be burdened with too much stuff, and miss the opportunity to get creative, wing it, and work with what we’ve got.
A road trip taken with others gives us the chance to connect in new ways, hold new kinds of conversations, and, find new ways in which we drive each other crazy. Enclosed in the same vehicle, headed in the same direction, we might just discover new ways of being on the same page.
A road trip lets us get up close and personal with anything that grabs our interest along the way. If we build in enough time to allow for a few side trips, detours, and unexpected surprises, we return home more informed, inspired, and possibly inclined to learn more about something we encountered along our way.
A road trip always has a snafu, big or small. A flat tire, road work delays, the campground that is full, the trail that is closed for the season, or the unexpected snowstorm with our chains still in the box…back in our garage. It is the snafus that make the story interesting and worth telling again, and again, and again in the years ahead.
A road trip brings out the best in us, and, the worst in us, and when those two collide, well, that’s why God took us on the trip in the first place. Stuck in a car, with miles to go, we have a chance to bring out more of the best in us, and leave behind more of the worst in us.