Good morning everybody! I have arrived safely at my last stop before I enter Yellowstone National Park itself. It’s been a crazy long journey, over 44 hours spent in my car as I traveled across state lines, through the plethora of construction zones, and so many rest areas along the way where I can say, “Yep. I sure enough rested there.” Anyways, I thought that I might share some highlights of this journey.
I got a really later start than I wanted: a day and a half later than I had originally planned. So there was no casual side-trips, no whimsical “Ooh! What’s that?!” detours. No, it was just a man, his car, a road, and a destination to reach. That being said, I did enjoy what I could see from car. A friend reminded me before I left to be aware not only of the road but at the sights I would be able to see from my car as I would be traveling into new territory. I’m glad he said this, for perhaps I was more aware of the majestic sights of God’s glory as I attempted to rush by them.
My first stop was in St. Louis. I was hoping to make Kansas City at least, but I underestimated how tired I truly was and drive safely and rested was more important than progress. I needed to get an oil change so I pulled into a Firestone shop to which I have fierce loyalties (Firestone, itself that is). They told me two hours. I had arrived early in the morning, I still had a long way to go, but they were swamped and understaffed, so I waited. I decided to walk to nearby Chik-Fil-A so that I could actually eat breakfast there for once in my life. As I walked in, I saw that there was a group of men doing a bible study. I intentionally sat just a couple of tables away so that I could better hear their study, but by the time I sat, they had already finished. Yet, the man who was leading the study came over to talk to me after everyone else had left. He and I had a wonderful opportunity to just share our journeys. It was one of those kinds of opportunities that make you realize God really can and does work things for our benefit; God can redeem any situation. My new friend and I shared contact info and we hope to keep in touch as we continue our journeys. By the time I walked back to Firestone, my car was almost ready and I had just enough time to share some memories with a few friends as I discovered some really old text messages. [Guys, I never promised to make y’all cannoli; it’s time to move on.]
South Dakota welcomed me with a speed limit of 80 that was completely useless as it also welcomed me with the worst storm I have ever had the pleasure of driving through. It is the first time in my life as a driver that I can remember that I felt compelled to wait it out a little underneath a bridge. It was the heaviest sounding rain I’ve ever heard and that’s when I realized, it wasn’t just rain; there was a bit of hail coming down, hiding in the drizzle of the rain.
My love of construction zones remains the same. It feels like at least half of my journey was through work zones. Luckily, I did a lot of traveling at night and most of the zones I encountered were dormant, so that I may quickly pass, even though the majority of them reduced the highway to half its width.
Perhaps, the scariest moment of my trip was when I had almost completely finished passing a semi, one of its rear tires blow. That was perhaps the scariest sound I have ever heard so close to me. Things could have gone really bad there, but thankfully, they did not. The truck driver was able to slow down and pull to the side of the road so that he could attend to his truck.
There are probably more stories I could share, but alas, this is where I need to end for now for my trip is not quite finished. I drive the last hour this morning and will have a busy day ahead of me with orientation and meeting new friends and co-workers. So wherever the road may take you, go with a sense of enjoyment and wonder, go with the knowledge and security that wherever you may go, God is already there and He even goes with you there, go knowing that life is precious and no matter what happens on the road, the greatness of God is there all around us, we just need to be aware and look. Until next time…