One of my favorite roads is the scenic drive from Cleveland, TN to Asheville. At one point you can chose the longer drive through Maggie Valley or keep on the main highway and go through Waynesville. Each way has its own merits. At Thanksgiving Roy and I took the Waynesville route and had a delightful time in downtown Waynesville. We finally got to the Mast General Store. There is one in Asheville, but the parking is horrendous in Asheville and we give up and go back to the Inn on the Biltmore Estate and that's not a bad thing to go back to. The first time I traveled on that road was about ten years ago and is one of my very favorite stories, which has now become so embellished, is when Dena and I decided to take this road as the first leg of our journey to return home. We stopped at a little store just a short trek from Asheville. We found Nehi sodas and bought some peanuts for a snack. We got back on the road and we were listening to a CD that had some great tunes that had the opposite effect on both of us. The music jazzed me up, I was driving a little faster than I should have been. Dena, well, the music had a calming and quiet effect upon her. So, we get behind this slow car, probably a mini van (well it is in my embellished memory) and I wanted to pass it. Did I mention while driving a little beyond the speed limit in the Smokey Mountains I was also multitasking to the hilt. I was drinking a Nehi, scanning the CD, eating peanuts...you see the picture. In the embellished memory I was doing all those things and more, talking on the phone, reaching in the back seat for something...I would say texting or checking social media but those things were just the gleam in some computer nerds eye way back then none the less, I was doing that while I began to pass the dreaded mini van in front of me. About halfway around this van I begin to wonder if the rather large obstacle coming toward me is a huge truck or is it the train which parallels the road to our right? From the corner of my eye I can kind of see Dena tensing up over my NASCAR type move, so I decide not to voice my fears that we were headed for a head on collision with a dump truck. Fortunately, it was the train I saw and there wasn't a chance we would be driving head on into it. After we had finally arrived at the safety of the Interstate, I confessed my fear on the road to Cleveland to Dena. Over the years when feeling overwhelmed but feel like we are up for the challenge one of us will say, hey it's like that time on the road, I was changing channels, eating peanuts, drinking a Nehi, talking on the phone, getting something out of the back seat while passing a mini van.
Road stories intrigue me. I love reading articles about the art of a road trip. In my heart of hearts I am really a hesitant traveler that is unless it is someplace I really want to go to. Packing and thinking through a wardrobe sometimes slows me down to inactivity and then with a last minute burst of packing I only hope everything that needs to be packed has been. Really the most successful packing of recent times was to Israel. I don't enjoy flying, yes it gets you there faster than by car but all the hurry up and wait wears me out. It is hard to really converse in an airplane but road trips can make the conversation flow. Roy and I have had some of our best conversations to and from Biltmore. Roy says riding in Seqyisha is like traveling in your livingroom. Now in our younger days the conversation wasn't so great...not so much. Road trips back then meant confined space to argue over things that didn't even really matter. Remind me to write about my Big Gulp experience in OK with Roy.
Why am I writing about roads? Who knows, but the subject matter has intrigued me of late. Being in the Holy Land and being in all the geographical areas found in the text and maps of the Bible developed my sense of what all these travels meant for all beloved and not so beloved people in the Bible. So I'm thinking from time to time I just might write about roads on the old Monablog. Not new subject matter but I can promise there won't be any titles like, joy in the journey, journeys with Jesus, keeping pace with Paul, barnstorming with Barnabas, living large with Lazarus, miles with Mary, more mileage mayhem with Martha or any other cheesy kind of titles.
At some time in life we have all taken a trip that we do in a countdown until it is over. It is making a mental list and as each occurrence happens you mentally check off and think only a few more things until we can finally leave. Happily, I haven't been on one of those trips in a long time. Since I am always behind in using a devotional, I caught up this morning. Once again I am using Jesus Calling. January 12th hits me right where I am thinking of roads and travels and the benefits and side effects of both.
"Let Me prepare you for the day that stretches out before you. I know exactly what this day will contain, whereas you have only vague ideas about it. You would like to see a map showing all the twists and turns of your journey. You'd feel more prepared if you could somehow visualize what is on the road ahead. However, there is a better way to be prepared for whatever you will encounter today:Spend quality time with Me.
I will not show you what is on the road ahead, but I will thoroughly equip you for the journey. My living Presence is your Companion each step of the way. Stay in continual communication with Me, whispering My Name whenever you need to redirect your thoughts. Thus, you can walk through this day with your focus on Me. My abiding Presence is the best road map available. Exodus 33:14; John15:4-7.
I would also like to add He is better than Siri on directions and the way.