Road Trips for the Soul
In our family, we have always looked forward to road trips. I would let the kids have candy and junk food they otherwise could not have, so that was the first lure. And it’s an adventure to go somewhere new. Even if it’s not a glamorous location, you never know what you’ll discover. Several years ago, we discovered the hidden gems of the Mississippi Delta when we took Wayne’s mom back to her childhood stomping grounds. Who knew the quirky, retro Shack Up Inn was such a hot stop for foreign tourists?
But even more revealing than the sights along the way are the things you learn about your traveling partners. When we took Wayne’s mom and aunt on that trip, they told stories galore that we would not have known if we had not traveled with them. If we had not taken Kal to North Carolina, we would not have known how much she hated the heat and sand dunes and seafood. If I had not taken a road trip with my friend Jinni, I would not have seen her great compassion for her clients and anyone who is emotionally traumatized.
Kal and I took a road/air trip to Puerto Rico three weeks ago with 27 people from our church. We spent a lot of time crammed into vans and airplanes and a little church building where we slept every night. You get to know people better in those conditions. You live more “in community” when you’re together 24/7 and have to share tight physical spaces. This is good for us. Think of all the road trips Jesus and the disciples took together.
Now there are certainly drawbacks. You smell everyone’s smells. You have to listen to the talkers all the time. You have to sit by the wigglers and get poked and jostled. You have to wait for the bathroom. You pretty much have to go to bed when everyone else does and wake up when everyone else does, or else try to sleep through their noise. You have to share the radio or iPod music. You may have to compromise on food or temperature.
But you also see people for who they are. You learn what they are like when they wake up and what they are like when they are worn out at night. You learn who knows how to share and you learn who’s good at taking charge. You see who’s a servant and who’s a diva. (Mark 10:35-45) And you also open yourself up to giving and receiving more love.
You know how one of our purposes here on earth is to become like Jesus? Road trips are great for that. Road trips give us the opportunity to consider others’ needs, put others first, die to ourselves, and love unconditionally. So look for an opportunity to take a road trip with your brothers and sisters in Christ. It’s good for the soul. And who knows, you might see Jesus there (Luke 24:13-35).