Katie filled the small ice chest with drinks and snacks while Troy checked the suvís oil and kicked the tires. The sun was beaming, the birds were in grand performance and everyone was happy. Small bees were diligently nursing nectar from the small flowerbed next to the front porch. This was a good day.
They were heading out to visit their daughter who had recently accepted a teaching position in Oklahoma- about a four hour journey from home. More than just a routine visit they were delivering Daisy, their daughterís dog, which she had been unable to carry during the move. Along for the ride was grandma and Uncle Dan- a boy of eight trapped in a body five times that. Grandpa passed on six years earlier. He had been extremely proud of this close knit family unit.
Their son would not be on this voyage. He was on the road with his band making music- music that Katie and Troy did not quite understand and their more mature ears could almost endure- with earplugs. Nevertheless, they were there, in the audience, offering their support whenever possible.
With the checklist complete the only task left before getting under way was to fill the fuel tank- no minor affair at todayís prices. With that done, they were at last on the interstate- throttle on cruise and a cool breeze wafting from the vents. Troy zipped through the radio am channels in search of road construction updates, and then consulted the route traced in yellow highlighter on a computer generated map. Satisfied, he stowed the map and popped in a cd- one of Danís favorites- and they all sang along. By the time they crossed the half-way mark they had counted seven VW bug vehicles, tallied cows until they lost count- but only the spotted ones- and grandma had coaxed Dan through most of the alphabet, one letter at a time, by way of other travelerís license plates. Yes, this was a good day and in a short time they would reach their destination.
Although for Katie, Troy and Grandma this would be the ultimate trip of their lifetime. They would each soon reach their final destination.
No one on this planet knows exactly what occurred that day to trigger the accident. The survivors, Dan and Daisy, are not quite capable of describing the final events of that trip, even if they understood. And anyway, no one is asking them. According to authorities the vehicle eventually came to rest after flipping four and a half times.
One fact we can attest to is that God did not orchestrate this tragedy. Though He can and will create something good from it somehow, somewhere, sometime. His word affirms it.
We are, each and everyone, on our own road trip of life- and eternity. And whether you, or any person, chooses to, or not to, believe it does not change anything. If we know where we are headed and follow the map- hand drawn and given to us by our Father- our journey will be much more enjoyable. And if we pay attention to what is happening around us we can evade many problems, delays and setbacks. We can also avoid being blind-sided by those that seek to overwhelm us.
Have you planned your trip? Did you complete your checklist? Are you truly ready for your next journey? Are you quite prepared for that final departure- the trip of your lifetime which will conclude in the arrival at your ultimate destination?
I pray it is so. If not, it is incredibly easy to do. And you do not need a travel agent or map-quest. The entire journey has already been arranged- you need only accept it. Check out John 3:16, Acts 16:30-31 and Romans 10:13 for starters.
I think I want to count some cows.
Dedicated to Karen, Travis and Marjorie -2005
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