My plans are set; I must be free! Nothing can deter my jailbreak from the prison of mediocrity and boredom, but I need an accomplice. Enticing me to a life of adventure, she is the perfect choice. I fall in love the moment I see her – a 1968 Volkswagen microbus.
Twenty years of my life are history. I cannot waste another moment. My pockets are full of money and many friends scattered across the nation have laid out their welcome mats. Freedom tastes sweet.
With microbus wheels rolling and music rocking to the beat of Janis Joplin and the Allman Brothers, “Lord, I was born a rambling man,” is my only prayer.
New Orleans nightlife, sandy Florida beaches, Memphis blues, Manhattan art, mountain climbing, rock concerts, city life, and country living – I experience it all.
Having waited tables through college, work comes easily when cash for another road trip is needed. I continually move from place to place enjoying everything the world has to offer, yet still I am restless. Despite all my exploits, no place on earth seems able to hold my interest. The road is always calling me.
I am unsure of what I am seeking, and I wonder what I am running from. Wherever I go, there I am. Escape is futile. The freedom I hope for is always just beyond my grasp and slipping through my fingers.
Drinking and drugs begin to lose their appeal. A longing awakens in me – I want God.
I head west into the unknown, chasing the sun as it sets on my season of sinful pleasures. The mountains stretch out before me, promising greener grass on the other side.
Carefully winding my way along mountain roads, fear speeds my heart rate as my brakes start to lose their stopping power. I am in the middle of nowhere! Who will help me? I panic. In the distance, I see a road sign, “Kennedy Meadows Resort.”
I careen into the parking lot, brakes smoking. “No problem,” the seasoned mountaineer assures me. “Your brakes are hot. Let them rest a while and you can be off again.”
I tuck my Bible under my arm and venture up the nearest hiking trail. The rocky bluffs standing post around green meadows beckon me into their sanctuary. I turn from the trail and climb into the midst of towering pines. Melted snow cascades from mountain peaks forming magnificent waterfalls. I am awestruck by the majestic beauty surrounding me. This heavenly place has a voice all its own, shouting praise to its Creator.
My Bible is open to Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. As I sit on this mountain, His words are meant for me alone. They become another waterfall, rushing over the stones of my heart. “Ask, and it shall be given to you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it shall be opened,” Matthew 7:7, 8 (NASB).
In response to His tender presence, healing tears overflow from my heart and I pray, “Lord, I want to get married. I want a family. I want to raise children and teach them about You.”
Reaching out my weary hand to take hold of His, I return to the resort a changed person. He spoke and the restless sea tossing within me is calm. No longer determined to ride every wave, I listen closely for His voice and leading.
I notice that my money fell out of my pocket somewhere on that hike. Astonished, this prompts me to ask Him, “Do you want me to stay here, Lord?”
God’s will is revealed as I learn that the resort restaurant is in need of an experienced server; I am hired immediately.
Then my answer to prayer walks in the room. Now, I know love at first sight, not wanderlust in a microbus with its illusive promise of freedom, but a love that takes root and grows into marriage. I realize that I am not here by chance.
God knew my desires for a family before I ever asked. “Even before there is a word on my tongue, behold, O Lord, thou dost know it all,” Psalm 139:4 (NASB).
Although I am still not fully surrendered, God’s ultimate plan for me is salvation. Under the watchful eye of this loving, all knowing Father, another journey is just beginning – a journey on the road to redemption.
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