I just got back from a five-week trip across country. I retired as Head of School in June and wanted to give my successor every opportunity for a fresh start as school began in September. So I grabbed my best friend, jumped into my RV and took off on a grand adventure.
I endured 6200 miles of driving. Visited 23 states. Spent about $3000 on gas. Tolerated a temperature range of 108-36 degrees. Our highest elevation was 12,000 feet above sea level. Saw 14 deer, 1 elk, 2 eagles and a bunch of geese. The most frequent sign was “Bridge may ice before the road.” But the closest I came to fishing was the salmon patties I had for dinner! (Weather was challenging and the bugs love me!)
It was an incredible opportunity and I have loved reflecting on where and how I saw the Lord. Actually, I made three specific observations. The first one came early on in the trip. I woke up one morning trying to plan out the drive, the stops and the details. But the message I heard from my Savior was, “wait…relax, let this ‘stuff’ come to you.”
So, instead of a detailed plan, I took the back roads, stopped for ice cream and looked things up as I drove along. (Did you know that Alabama is filled with fish hatcheries?) And it was good!
My second reflection came after some incredibly severe thunderstorms. This California girl doesn’t see those very often. One evening my phone lit up with this warning, “High winds, significant lightening and thunder, airport closed, heavy rain. Seek immediate secure shelter.” I survived and had an excellent reminder that God and God alone controls the weather, and everything else!
And my third reflection sprang out of the signs on the interstate declaring “Rest Area Ahead.” It occurred to me that I need those kinds of signs dotted all over my daily schedule. I need to be intentional about turning aside and taking a mental (and sometimes, physical) break. Just a few minutes of a “time out” would make such a difference in my day.
I can’t help but think that my reflections might help others too. Learning to wait patiently on the Lord’s direction; recognizing that He and He alone controls everything and actively seeking mental and emotional rest, these are all good things, for all of us.
So, the moral of this story is: plan an extended RV trip. It will be good for your soul!