Somehow “Let’s go on vacation!” became “Let’s drive 1200 miles across the country with a 6 year old and 2 year old!” and that was the beginning of an experience that none of us will soon forget. 2300 miles on the minivan later, I have grown as a parent, a husband and as a man. I am stronger. Forged in the fires of interstates and rest areas. I have potty-trained at gas stations, rescued stuffed animals from the cavernous floor below car seats and changed out DVDs at high speeds across eight states! I stand (or sit) before you, a Road Warrior.
Ever since I got my license, ultimate freedom was a full tank of gas and an open road. My wife (Elena) was the same way, so early in our marriage we would go on road trips all of the time. We have tried to instill a love for exploration in both our children – sometimes by necessity, with big moves across country – but mostly with day-trips and vacations on the road. This current season of life, however, has presented some challenges. Sometimes these trips are more about survival than enjoyment.
One of my all-time favorite Bible stories is the life of Joseph. Here’s a kid, blessed with favor from both his earthly and heavenly fathers, who goes through Hell and back, but manages to keep his heart pure. What starts as a road trip to check on his brothers becomes a trek into slavery, imprisonment and ultimately, incredible glory.
Maybe, like Joseph, you’ve been on a journey that you did not expect. Life didn’t hand out participation trophies, but instead constantly presented challenges and hurt. The story of Joseph is one of perseverance, one of the sweetest spiritual fruits if given the time to ripen. I can’t promise that at the end of it all, you will get a happily ever after. Sometimes that comes in eternity (See Moses) – but sometimes you get more than you ever dreamed of.
While the American dream might be about the pursuit of happiness, the Christian life is about the pursuit of God’s Kingdom. So buckle up. Start the engine. And go on this amazing adventure called life!
(Left: Ben | Right: Kaylee)