Me and my closest friend.
He loves the scenery,
But I love the END!
~ Debbie Porter ~
* * *
As far as most things are concerned, my husband, Steve, and I are in perfect synchronicity. In fact, we share the same mind and heart on all the major issues of life such as our faith, finances and family, with very little need to ever have to work through differences of any great magnitude.
However, there are a few teensy, tiny things where we are completely out of step with one another. In fact, when it comes to some issues it’s as though we’re dancing to the beat of different drums – during the same song!
For example, I love to feel snugly cocooned each night under tightly tucked sheets. Steve, on the other hand, makes a point of always kicking out those same tightly tucked sheets so that his feet will feel free.
When it comes to food, Steve is a pure “meat and potatoes” man. At the other end of the spectrum, I’m "hot and spicy" all the way.
Even when it comes to gift giving we don’t quite see eye to eye. I’m the type of person who hands the present over the second we walk through the door, whereas Steve prefers to wait until some less overwhelming moment during the visit.
Any married couple knows that all these little differences quite naturally crop up when two quite unique individuals choose to be united for life. An awareness of these differences usually begins quite early in the relationship and continues on until “death do us part”.
Even knowing that this is the case, after almost 21 years of marriage it still takes me a little by surprise when a point of difference suddenly makes itself known.
For me, the latest one appeared very recently when Steve and I found ourselves abandoned by our teenagers after church. Making the most of this unexpected time alone together, we decided to skip the usual toasted sandwiches at home and instead, went to a nearby Bistro for a delicious lunch.
With our appetites more than satisfied, I was quite content to head for home. Steve, on the other hand, thought it would be the perfect time to take a drive out to Warragamba Dam – Sydney’s major water supply.
Although the thought of going straight home held much greater appeal, I was quite willing to go along for the relatively short trip. After all, I knew what to expect. We’d get to the dam, get out of the car, take a quick look at the depleted water level, say “Hasn’t the drought taken its toll!” and then get back into the car and come home.
Everything went exactly as I’d anticipated until we were driving away from Warragamba and Steve uttered those immortal words:
“Let’s take the scenic route home.”
With that, he headed the car down a side road which ultimately took us miles and miles out of our way.
My husband was in his element.
Right there and then I discovered that for Steve, going for a drive to nowhere in particular is his idea of an absolutely delightful way to spend an afternoon.
The concept totally boggled my mind. After all, as far as I’m concerned, driving anywhere is merely a means to an end. You follow a road because it goes from "Point A" to "Point B". If the scenery along the way happens to be beautiful, then that’s a blessing. However, just getting into a car and spending a couple of hours going from "Point A" to "Point A" isn’t my idea of fun at all.
So whose attitude is right?
Well, as is the case in most of these differences of opinion, it comes right down to personal preference – which is why I just sat back and let Steve enjoy his trip. The reality is that there are pros and cons for both points of view.
The same is true when it come to our journey on this road of life.
For the Christian, there’s no question at all that we travel this road with a very specific destination always in mind. As we make our way we have the wonderful assurance and peace that comes from knowing that, in Christ, we will reach journey’s end.
However, in the same way that I tend to become overly focussed on reaching the end of a car trip, so too do some Christians become overly focussed on reaching the “hereafter”, instead of allowing themselves to enjoy the sheer delight and wonder of the journey.
Eternal life doesn’t begin the minute we slip from this earthly life into our heavenly home. It begins the second we receive Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour.
As Jesus Himself said:
~ John 5:24 NIV ~
When we ask Christ to take Lordship of our lives, our old journey of death comes to a complete halt as we change directions and begin travelling down a new road of life, into eternity with Him.
So as we make our way down this road with Christ, let’s remember to take time to enjoy the beauty, wonder and adventure of travelling alongside the One who came to give us abundant life. (John 10:10)
But what about those who are making their journey with much the same attitude that Steve has towards a Sunday drive? In other words, those men and women who are quite content to live their lives as though on some aimless, scenic route, with no destination in mind and no road map for the journey.
What may be fine for a pleasant afternoon trip, is disastrous when it comes to travelling through life! Sadly, many have become ensnared by the philosophies of Eastern religion, with the seductive lie that there is no “Point B” on this journey – simply an endless cycle of returning to “Point A” and starting again.
With no destination in view, no direction to follow and no reason for the journey, it’s no wonder that so many now live for the pleasures of the here and now without ever thinking about the eternal consequences of their actions.
The writer of the Book of Hebrews very simply removed any possibility of there being a second trip through life, let alone an endless cycle of journeys, when he stated that:
~ Hebrews 9:27 NIV ~
When it comes right down to it, we have one opportunity to travel this road of life. It’s a gift from God and is meant to not only lead us to our heavenly reward, but also to fulfil the destiny, plan and purpose for which we were created.
So let’s not sit at home and simply let life pass us by. Instead, with the Holy Spirit as our travelling companion and navigator, let’s make the most of each and every precious day.
In fact, let’s get out there on the road and just go for a drive!
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Oh man! I would love to take a drive with you. Stand outside your porch and wait. I'll be right along. Okay? See you soon! Great truths here, by the way:)
Isn't it a wonderful thing that Christ made us all different? It sounds like you have a excellent marriage, full of surprises. Although, you are both different in some ways, you have learned to adapt. Keep on Loving each other! Blessings to you and your husband. Susan
Well written. It's a great reminder that we need to live each day fully aware. Sometimes we coast through the days, and in doing so we miss a lot of precious opportunities God has in store for us.
Hehe, I'm not sure why I never thought to look at your profile before, but I'm glad I finally did! Great article! I enjoyed getting anicdotes of your life, added to a very good point.
Deb - this is lovely. I am so glad you were featured this week! I am the same as you - I get in the car to get to the destination, and please don't stop me on the way - pit stops are just that - pit stops - don't you dare take more than 5 minutes!
Deb! Oh! that we might learn to take the road His way, what a perfect ride it would be! Much love, Rita
I love it! Something which readers can so easily identify with, and such a powerful spiritual application. Excellent!!!
Well done Deb! No matter where you go...there you are! - Jay Cookingham
Deb, I think just about everyone can relate to this! :-) Wonderful article, beautifully written.
It's amazing how many good pieces are tucked away at Faithwriters! I haven't been here that long so I always like to read those on the home page to kinda "catch up". Having been married 35 years to someone who is pretty much my direct opposite on almost everything, I had to smile! you are so much like my husband and I'm so much more like yours! lol What I enjoyed most was how you tied this into our christian views for on that we agree totally. So many times we focus on the big picture when it is really the small things that will make or break our christian attitude. so glad this piece is still here!
You're right, Deb, this is the perfect fit. :) Lovely, encouraging story, with a great lesson woven into its scenery. Best wishes for the 1K! - Nancy
Debbie, I don't have a husband (yet) but I do imagine to find myself in some of the same situations you describe, and what a blessing to be able to have such dilemas with the man you love, and the partner God has gifted you with, You're right, we only die once, so we should make our journey and our time here count for her Glory and Honor. Praise God. To God be the Glory!
Wonderful article. Thank you! I sent two messages to you via "Private Messenger." Do you participate in that?
Beautifully written Debbie,yes we should appreciate the journey as long as our destination remains with Jesus. Wow you have truly blessed me
You do an excellent job of relaying Scriptural truths through everyday events. Well done!
Deb...Jesus takes me on a lot of "scenic routes", some I would rather not go on myself! Wonderful truth in your article, I was blessed by it. - Jay Cookingham
Beautifully written and reflected upon. Thank you for sharing .
:) Well done Deb! Due to the fact that I was only four years old when you guys got married, I don't know much about all the 'little details' you mentioned - though I imagine it must be fun (or am I being naive?!) Anyway, lovely to hear a moral from an everyday life episode. May Steve continue to inspire you to think of God & provide us with lovely writing!
great article! I'm in awe of your following! so many people have read your submissions. what a neat honor from the Father.
Deb - this is so true and the trip sounded like one of Judy's and my first trips together as a married couple. I wanted to take a side road and she just wanted to get home! i'm the type of person who think that there always a serendipitous side of life that the Lord sometimes calls us to take with blessings to be bountiful as snow in January. This was an enjoyable read, Deb and it's good to see you post here again. Jim
Very profound, Deb! I really enjoyed it. My husband has learned after 24 years of marriage, not to ask me for directions because he'll get lost!LOL!
Hi Debbie, Thank you for mentioning Faith Writers in your last newsletter. Very similar to Themestream. I really liked your article. It is a reflection of this journey of life we're on. Looking forward to your next one. Blessings to you and yours
Deb, isn't it amazing what you can learn on a trip you weren't keen on taking! Smiled as I recognized many of the same differences you describe between you and your hubby in our marriage - even to the penchant for long, aimless drives! Loved the lessons you took from those experiences. Thanks for taking us on this trip!
Very humorous and at the same time teaches us a lesson!
Deb, Well-written. Thanks for sharing the differences in your marriage. I am certain many can relate, our marriage is similar. Thanks for tying in Scripture as well. Blessings - Tam..
Me being only fifteen it is sometimes hard to understand what is trying to be explained to me...It gets a little frustrating. You did a great job of wording this and I actually understood. Ha.
Fantastic as always Deb. And how true. Life isn't ment to be wondered aimlessly, but we do need to stop and smell the roses along the way. Learning that one the hard way. Love always