Our family of four has made an art out of preparing for summer road-trips. In under an hour, we can pack suitcases, prepare snacks, gather blankets and pillows, find lost flip-flops, hook up the DVD player, map the route and visit the restroom one last time to maximize our time on the road.
Then, we’re off on our next family adventure.
But no matter how adept we are getting organized for our trip — or how effective we are in finding new ways to entertain the littlest travelers — we always hear this echoing cry about halfway into any trip: “How much longer until we get there?”
Soon, our two daughters have grown tired of the snacks. Detours, potholes, heavy traffic and flat tires delay our plans. We’re lulled into boredom by long stretches of monotonous scenery. We argue and fuss over which song to play, what movie to watch … and the never-ending battle of who-touched-who first.
We have even come perilously close to running out of gas, especially if I’m driving.
And this is how life sometimes goes, too: We’re headed toward our final destination, but the way seems long. The road is bumpy. We face roadblocks and potholes, depression and indifference. We fight with those we love, and we grieve relationships shattered over an unwillingness to forgive and move on.
No matter how well we think we’ve prepared for our journey, we hunger and thirst.
And for me — too often — I feel like I’m running on empty.
I cry out to Jesus, my King of the Road: “How much longer until I get there?”
And He answers this weary traveler with words from his Holy road map. His map – the Bible – gives detailed directions for how to survive on the open road. His map gives us a Sacred Way, a Holy Road to follow.
And a highway will be there;
It will be called the Way of Holiness. Isaiah 35:8
God has given us this well-marked Highway of Holiness as we travel to our final destination. But He promises we don’t have to travel alone. He goes with us, and is even willing to drive.
When I find myself whining in the backseat on this journey of life, I wonder if the Father at the wheel ever wants to look into the rearview mirror and scold me with a stern threat like: “Now don’t make me come back there.”
Instead, the Lord leads us down a road paved with love and grace and forgiveness. He calls on us to enjoy the view, take in the scenery, and soak up every unrepeatable moment. And when the journey seems hard and long, He reminds us that in the end, it will be worth it.
For when we arrive at our final destination, we don’t have to turn around and go back home. We’ll already be there.