Tuesday, June 3, 2014

The Trip, part 1: the Beginning

“And He said to them, ‘Come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest a while…’” -Mark 6:31 We just returned from a marvelous ten-day, nearly three thousand mile trip through Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia, Washington D.C., Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. It had been a trip in the making for a long time. Joining us were our favorite traveling buddies, Holly (Jeanie’s sister) and her husband Trent Hallum. But the trip never would have happened if I had not started. Hum. That may seem obvious, but many a trip never happens because it never begins. The beginning of any worthy journey in life- marriage, family, or whatever-needs a good beginning. The credit goes to my sweet Jeanie who dreamed up the idea years ago. “Instead of going to the beach with the family (which we love and will visit in August), we ought to take a trip to the battlefields and DC.” “Ought to’s” can pile up if we’re not careful. Like good intentions, “ought to’s” take us nowhere. John Dewey said, “One lives with so many bad deeds on one's conscience and so many good intentions in one's heart.” The more famous quote describes “the road to hell being paved with good intentions.” I’m not sure what that means exactly as the road to heaven and hell has nothing to do with intentions, but a choice to let Jesus rule or not rule. But one thing is for certain in life: if we never act on our convictions and intentions, we’ll stay stuck. If we act, then we move and then we go. This particular “ought to” developed into a “we’re going.” But not without initial reservations. There are always obstacles to maneuver in any journey. Concern #1: “What about the rest of the family? How will they get along without us?” Answer: “They’ll get along just fine- we’re not needed as much as we think we are –ha!” Concern #2: “What about our responsibilities at work?” Answer: “There are incredible teachers and mentors and employees that will step in to fill the gap (and they did- thank you!)” Concern #3: “What about all the unknowns?” Answer: “What about them? Let’s act on what we know and not react to fear. We all need a break and vacation. Let’s trust the Lord to cover the bases.” The obstacles were cleared (as far as we knew), we set a date and made all the necessary reservations. We quickly discovered that there would be a pretty significant price to pay for the trip. A lot of the historical sites we would visit were free, but lodging and food were not. We added up the projected mileage for the trip and considered flying. But we decided that, while flying would be expedient, we would miss all of the sites along the way. Our goal for the trip was to slow down and enjoy the journey. Every trip comes with a price. We would have to give up time and money to make it happen, but it would be worth every penny. So, with all the scheduling conformed, we began the trip. The four of us are very close and the time traveling in the car would be as valuable as the time seeing the sites. Someone defined true success as “the ability to enjoy the journey on the way to the destination.” We were determined to not be determined to just see the sites. I guess you could say we wanted to “chill.” And so the trip began, the good intention became reality and we hit the road. The journey began… …and the odometer would get a workout! By Eric Joseph Staples © www.lifeaid101.com

No comments: