Faith and Road Trips: How They Both Prepare Us for Our Final Destination
One of my greatest memories as a young mom involves our family vacations.
I had so much fun planning each one, often telling my husband that preparing for the trip was more fun than our actual destination. It wasn’t true, of course, but I admit that I did enjoy the time on the road as much as the destination itself.
Those were the days when we had to work around schedules while planning our trips. At first, we just had to consider my husband’s work hours, but as our children grew, so did our responsibilities.
I started teaching, our children entered school, and we started down the path of piano lessons, art classes, sports, church activities, and all the things that make up family life. We found ourselves checking our calendar before pulling out the road atlas that served us well for many years.
Every trip was a chance to connect.
My husband and I always packed the car, put our sleeping children in the back seat, and headed off long before dawn. Those quiet hours were special to the two of us, a time to talk and remember the early days of our marriage. We always timed each trip so we would arrive at our destination just an hour or two after our children woke up. This was important to avoid hours of questions about whether we were there yet or not.
My careful plans often fell apart though, at least a little bit.
Pin this for later…
It wasn’t possible to foresee detours and roadblocks. Sometimes we got lost. We always referred to these times as adventures to keep a smile on our faces, and no matter how lost we got, we somehow always found our way.
There were times we got off-course on purpose. We were enticed by billboards advertising locations we had not been aware of during the planning process. But sometimes we resisted the urge to explore, so intent were we on reaching where we had planned for our first night.
One thing we learned after all those trips together was that we couldn’t create the perfect vacation. We had to rely on the map to help us when things didn’t go as planned.
I can’t help but think about the ultimate road trip, the one that leads to our final destination.
Every time we loaded our car with suitcases and coolers, we checked and double-checked everything before we cranked the car and pulled out of our driveway. We also did a once-over inside our home to make sure everything would be safe while we were gone.
It wasn’t as easy as just deciding to leave home and effortlessly arriving at a new place. There was a lot of planning involved. And we had to make sure we had that road atlas because, without it, we could get lost with no hope of finding our way on our own.
Life is a road trip, and, if we have accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior, Heaven is our ultimate destination.
On the day we made the decision to follow Him, we made the decision to go on a road trip that would take us a lifetime to travel.
But we aren’t guaranteed a trip without detours and roadblocks. We can’t predict what’s going to show up on the side of the road, enticing us to follow a different path than the one we started out on. We have to choose to read our map and follow it.
There will be times when it doesn’t make sense, but we have to trust the Author because He gave us the map and is aware of everything that will try to get us off course.
Our family vacations were great, but the best ones didn’t involve getting stuck in traffic or having car problems. The best trips were the ones when we safely arrived on time and spent our days enjoying everything we had planned.
One of the best parts of each vacation was leaving our worries behind. We were focused on our destination, knowing vacations were special moments in time to be treasured.
The Bible tells us how to do this with the road trip that is our life.
“…but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”Philippians 3:13-14
You see, no matter how much I enjoyed preparing for each trip, the final destination was always my goal. I had made reservations. We were on a schedule to some degree, and we knew we couldn’t truly have fun until we left the stress of the drive behind us.
As Christians, each of us are on a trip right now. We don’t know when we’ll reach our destination, but we know we will. We’ve prepared, but we still need to be aware of our surroundings and follow God’s Word, the map He has given us for our life.
On vacations, we always met interesting people. After all, it’s impossible to travel down a road alone. The same is true with life. We’ve been given the opportunity to share where we’re going and tell others how to get there.
Life can be challenging, full of situations we can’t predict. It can also be an exhilarating adventure.
Keep your final destination as your goal, but be sure to make the most of the trip.