“I could never do that,” she said.
I gave her a close-lipped smile, shrugged my shoulders in a ‘ it was no big deal’ type of way and then said, ‘It was an adventure. But…a comfortable adventure actually. I have no problem going out on my own like that. Maybe I’m the weird one.”
And we shared a brief laugh together.
We’d been sharing our travel stories, mine of the time when I borrowed my sister’s two man tent and with a sleeping bag, cooler, a medium-sized duffel bag packed with just the necessities, and a handful of country music cd’s, I drove across Alberta, through Waterton Lakes and then into rainy Montana. I camped. I hiked. I swam in hot-springs. I had coffee in small road-side cafes and had conversations with waitresses, gas station owners, and other travelers. After the two weeks on the road, I knew the lyrics of Collin Raye and John Michael Montgomery songs like I knew how to speak ‘hello.’
And my maps were beginning to tear in the creases. Yes, I was using a paper map! This trip was before GPS devices were even on the market. Having to pull over to the side of the road with that ‘panic’ feeling starting to well in the bottom of my belly (where am I), and running my fingers again along the route of the map spread across my passenger seat, was part of the adventure.
I had a vision of where I was going to visit and a route planned with color-coded lines to let me know what type of highway I would be driving (major, secondary) and approximate driving times between the cities and towns. I knew the route, trusted my map, just didn’t know the details of what I would be experiencing along the way. Like any well-planned trip, stuff happens. I ran into construction detours, already full-campsites, and stormy weather that changed my three night stay to two in Whitefish, Montana (the destination I was most looking forward to spending time).
The trip didn’t turn out to be what I expected, however in the unexpected was more of an adventure that satisfied.
Many moments I had to let go of my plan, yet still hold onto the road-trip’s overall vision.
And now, I wonder, what would it be like if I start seeing my life here, in this place that is not our real home, as an adventure with God?
An adventure where I pack light, holding loosely my belongings, bringing the items only necessarily needed at the moment.
An adventure where the map is His word that is always my passenger, pages even creasing and tearing from road-side stops when lost.
An adventure where the construction zone is just a time to rest, wait, and know He will clear the road in His timing.
And an adventure where the vision is to draw closer to God, on His road with boundaries and directions, patience and readiness, aligning how I live with His teachings.
Now, that is an adventure that perfectly satisfies, wouldn’t you say?