Distance rarely separated our caravan after the Weed 76 Station incident that took place as night swallowed the day. As we drove it felt like we were in a raven’s armpit with equal dips and twists in the road as if soaring blindly. The bright lights of the moving truck ahead illuminated enough but I desperately longed to see more.
As the night took its toll and we hunted for a place to stay for an evening I grew accustomed to the dark, though never comfortable. Red tail lights dimly reminded me I wasn’t on the road alone, but the lack of cell phone coverage kept me sober. We depended on each other’s awareness and alertness to respond should help be necessary.
Fresh Start Temptations
Those long night hours we worked to stay within close proximity of each other but the light of a new day and determination to arrive in our new town proved a temptation too strong. It began with the first of a string of potty breaks for our Sugar. “We’ll catch up with you, don’t worry.” We didn’t worry and we did catch up.
Then she needed to puke and take care of potty business. Tentative of our surroundings Sugar and I focused on our goal and left. I thought we weren’t too far behind my husband and assumed we could catch up with ease. After all, my load was smaller and the truck I drove more agile, but we didn’t catch up….and didn’t catch up.
Most of the drive seemed familiar from our road trip to find a place to call home but naturally, out of cellular or satellite service, when I couldn’t check-in with my husband or electronic map, the scenery seemed foreign. Usually I drive a road once and it’s etched in my mind forever. Somehow I’m usually able to keep my bearings, but not this time.
Fork in the Road
The highway nestled between two golden fields trailed on, up and over and a sign alerted me a decision was necessary to maintain proper course. Panic set in as a turn-off approached. I didn’t know which way to go and had no way of checking. The fields couldn’t tell me and not a farmhouse or truck could be found for help, should I be brave enough to ask.
I didn’t realize how comfortable and cushioned my life is until my greatest comfort was stripped away. Soul laid bare I came face-to-face with where I placed my trust and it wasn’t entirely God.
Conquering the daily grind proves and easy path to losing faith in God. The multiple small victories inoculate hearts to the deeper need for Christ. When we “get by” on our own strength, when we do things our way successfully we often drift leaving humility and gratitude to God on the shoulder of life’s road.
God surely gave us brains and wisdom to accomplish life’s tasks large and small, but the key it to remember we cannot do it alone. When life’s sun shines bright, when things are going well we easily derail.
Just Hold On
My daughter was asleep so I didn’t need to hide my anxiety. Humility swept over me like a tidal wave and I prayed to my Redeemer. God answers our prayers but He requires faith before revealing the end result. This was one of those times.
Literal fork in the road moment I steered the truck uncertain I chose correctly. We drove on and on. I knew the Oregon-Washington border was our goal and waited for any sign leading to the Columbia River (which serves as a border for the states).
Thirty minutes passed…nothing
An hour more and still no houses or life to pose a query to and nothing to note except more unfamiliar territory.
Deeper Into the Pit
We drove into a canyon that wound deeper as if into a pit. A full tank of gas is comforting but the empty light flicked on. Sometimes we think we can wait things out, that time will tell, heal or provide the remedy we need. Sometimes that’s true but at that moment everything felt wrong and panic gripped faith with all its might.
When it seemed bleakest the truck followed the road down a steep grade and rounded a corner opening to the Columbia River. All at once we came to a stop sign beside a fly fishing shop with a sign proclaiming “espresso” and a moving truck and car carrier familiar to our tribe.
Following God is like that: bleak, uncertain, uncomfortable, demanding of faith and obedience then opening wide to blessings and assurance. Too often we call it quits on God because we cannot see the path and don’t know the details of His plan. When we stay the course we’re called to we set ourselves up for the ultimate “win”.
Are you on course or do you need to humble yourself and get back on the path?