Get Your Kicks on Route 66

Three years ago we started a journey that has been a dream of my wife’s for a while.  As she talked about it I thought it sounded cool, though it would be totally antithetical to my normal way of traveling.  Known as “The Mother Road“, Route 66 is becoming extinct. Main Street of America Every year there is less to actually travel on without hazard to life or tie rod.  I got online and found a turn-by-turn map and directions for each leg of the trip from Chicago to Santa Monica Pier.  The Oklahoma portion of the trip was our starting point.  After the SBC convention in Indianapolis, we drove up to Chicago and started at the beginning and came home driving on as much of the original road as possible.  Right now I am sitting in Albuquerque having driven 1100 miles in the last three days driving on Route 66 as much as possible.  Because of a generous gift to our family we have been able to make this trip a reality this year.  We booked it down to the Texas border and got off the Interstate and haven’t seen much of it since.

The sites have been so much fun!  We have seen a barbed wire museum and route 66 museum in Mclean, TX, the big cross at Groom, TX, a VW Bug ranch and Cadillac Ranch.  We stopped at the Midway Cafe and Bobcat Bite where we ate Green Chile Cheeseburgers.  We have come down from Santa Fe through several Indian Pueblos and drove alongside spectacular views of mountain ranges.  We saw a 100 ft rock owl and crossed the continental divide.

So what? Right?

All of this driving off the beaten path was slower than usual.  All of this driving off the regular routes took longer than usual.  There was one time along our journey we were not sure where we were going and if it was the right way, but we trusted the directions and arrived just fine.  As I was driving 55, which everyone knows Sammy Hagar cannot do, I noticed the constant desert and scrubby looking land mile after mile.  My wife and I discussed what it must have been like to have been some of the early travelers across this region.  How desolate, yet exotic, it must have seemed.  As I drove my mind began to drift to my Bible readings right now.  The Israelites had just spent 40 years in the wilderness, which I think would have looked a lot like this.  Moses received the same kinds of questions I did as we traveled:

  • Are we there yet?
  • What are we going to eat?  That again?
  • I’m thirsty!
  • I want to do something else.

They have traveled very well, but we all have our perceived needs.  The Israelites were very disgruntled.  They wanted certain foods and water at certain times.  They often wished they had never started this journey.  They whined and complained and expected Moses to magically fix everything.  When he did not, they dissented.  After a horrible decision at the border, they spent 38 years walking in circles until the elders died off.  Through this reading of Numbers and this trip so far, I have learned:

  • Don’t take home for granted! Driving through different areas of the country both geographically and financially makes me appreciate what God has given us at home.  It may not be the mansion, but it is home and God granted it to us.  Even with its quirks and issues, I recognize that we blessed.
  • Trust the one giving directions. I was in charge of driving.  My wife was the navigator.  Moses simply drove the people wherever God told them to go.  I listened and made the turns and adjustments as needed.  I stopped for pictures.  I stopped for bathroom breaks.  I slowed down to drive the old road.  It was nice.  It was pleasant.  It was not the normal drive-like-a-madman-to-the-destination day and it felt good.  We ate PB & J in a roadside park.  Like is good.  Because I trusted the one who was giving the directions we are able to enjoy the moments together.
  • Take every thing in stride.  During this trip the weather has been gorgeous, but hot.  It was not supposed to be hot.  So we adjust as we can.  In downtown Santa Fe they changed the direction of the road, but the map did not show this adjustment.  You take it in stride and find another way.  So often in our lives we force a certain way.  The Israelites could not see the way into the promised land and then spent 40 years in the desert.  Moses and Aaron could not see his way to speaking to the rock at Meribah and missed out on the promised land.   We must calm down and recognize that things change.  Roads, people, weather, classes, music, worship, church all change.  Only God remains the same throughout.  Let’s take change in stride and simply continue to follow God, who does not change, rather than all the other things that constantly do so.
  • We fly through life too fast. We tend to live life in the fast lane.  We live at 75 and can’t slow down enough to notice anything.  When I slowed down on this trip a little and got off the popular road I was able to see beautiful landscapes and people.  I saw areas that are not visible from the highway and am better off for doing so.  Take some time with family.  Take time and let the journey be the destination.  Our culture today demands that we go to a “place” spend time there and rush back.   This pattern cripples the discipleship of a believer.  In a believer’s life the journey is important.  If we try to by-pass the journey through this life to get to the next we miss out on our purpose to make disciples that make a difference.

Enjoy and appreciate the life and times God has given each day.  Do it with more than words and pithy sayings.  Actually learn to enjoy the now, for that is all you truly have.  You cannot change the past and the future is not guaranteed.  Live now for the Lord through your life and family and service to God.  Take the time and get your kicks on route 66 {the Bible has 66 books…cool huh?}

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