Today is the first installment of a new feature here at You Do You, Mama. On my About page I mentioned that I used to write a weekly column for the Chester County Independent during the late 1990’s. I was recently reading through some of them and thought it would be fun to dust them off and share them with a new audience. Being mostly Type A and a linear thinker, I originally thought I would post the columns in order of how they were first published. Unfortunately, I don’t have the dates of all of them. So instead, I decided to post columns as they appeal to me. Since I recently drove nine and a half hours from Torrington, WY to Junction City, KS with only one stop in Kearney, NE, I thought the following column would be appropriate.
It has been 18 years since I wrote this. A lot has changed since then (I’m no longer married to my directionally challenged former mate) but as they say, “the more things change, the more they stay the same.” I’m still trying to beat road trip records and friends joke about my iron bladder, but I do enjoy stopping for a great photo opportunity and a meal I have to eat with a fork. Oh, and I’m not sure the current generation is familiar with Rand McNally or map reading. It’s much easier to say, “Hey Google.”
Enjoy this flashback to 1990 something…
Road Tripping through Life
It is generally accepted that women marry men like their fathers. This is not the case when it comes to my dad, husband, and road trips.
My dad’s time-tested rule is to point the car in the right direction and stop for one of three reasons:
1. The vehicle is traveling under the power of the final fuel fumes.
2. The driver’s bladder is about to burst.
3. The driver is suffering starvation-induced hallucinations. Even then, food is purchased in the drive-thru lane, unless rules one and two apply.
Dad and my sister, Jerri, once made it to Scottsbluff, NE from Memphis, TN in 17.5 hours. Their record progress was slowed only when Jerri, an honor graduate of the R.G. Greenly School of Cross-Country Speed Racing, was pulled over by a Nebraska State Trooper wishing to remind her of loved ones waiting at home.
My husband, however, tends to point his truck in the opposite direction and figure, “I’ll get there eventually.” He does not believe a Rand McNally sponsored map reading course falls into the theology department – he has been known to require 23 hours to cross Missouri. I have a friend who manages to make it to Oklahoma City, OK from Henderson, TN in about nine and a half hours. It recently took us 12 ½ hours just to cross Arkansas.
After 20-some years of traveling the nation with my father, I can travel hundreds of miles without a bathroom break, sleep in an upright position, and pack 900 items in a space designed for 10. After only six years of “road tripping” with my husband, I am still driven by the need to beat Dad’s Memphis to Scottsbluff record. But very slowly, I am learning to appreciate actually stopping to take a picture, browse through a craft shop, or eat in a sit-down restaurant.
My Heavenly Father has a different approach to traveling life’s highway. We do not need to put our trust in Rand McNally or pack those 900 items around. God promises to lead us in our travels and provide for us along the way.
The familiar Proverbs 3:6 states, “In all thy ways acknowledge him and he shall direct thy paths.” Psalm 5:8 reads, “Lead me, O Lord, in your righteousness … make straight your way before me.”
In each of the four gospels, Jesus tells his disciples “take no bag for the journey, or extra tunic, or sandals or a staff.” We don’t need to supply the stuff. God will meet our every need, and if we’ll listen, through His leading, we’ll get there eventually.