The day could not have started off any better. After sleeping in and preparing ourselves for a long journey, we were off to see the Emerald City, Seattle! We hit the road around 9am and the Google map said, “ETA 11:57AM.” We were excited to say the least.
Kris hadn’t been to Seattle for nearly 15 years. I couldn’t believe it had been that long, but she was right! I think Maddie was probably around 3 years old when we last made the trek. In the excitement of the adventure, Kris decided she wanted to drive. The beautiful forest was calling her name. So we pulled over at a Starbucks, got a yummy, piping hot sugar-free vanilla latte and back on the road we went.
It wasn’t but a few miles when she looked in her rear view mirror and said… well, I won’t say what she said, but she said it! And yes, the flickering red and blue lights reflected off the rear view mirror and into her squinty eyes. Nailed for speeding! It certainly wasn’t the end of the world for me (after all it wasn’t my ticket), but for her, I could see the tenseness in her face; the tight grip on the wheel. It was pretty clear that her afternoon wasn’t going to end well.
As I looked over from time to time, I could see she was lost in thought. I asked her a few times how she was doing, and of course she said, “I’m fine.” But she wasn’t. She was really bothered. And that bothered me. I really wanted her to let it go and have fun, but that wasn’t going to happen, at least not right now.
Isn’t that just life? You’re having the time of your life, and then WHAM, it all comes crashing down. The heart races, the face turns grimm and the soul feels crushed. I felt for my girl and she definitely wasn’t in a good place. It’s times like this when we realize how much we need to take a brake and chill out. It reminded me of Mark 6:32,
“So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place.”
Even Jesus knew there were times when they just needed to stop and rest. So we decided to hit a Rest Stop. Oh yeah, and I can take over the driving…
As we pulled in, I immediately noticed how calm it was. It was a serene, comfortable place designed specifically for rest. It actually gave Kris the breathing room to alleviate the negative thoughts from her mind. She took a little walk toward the woods, and I puffed on a smooth-draw cigar. It really was a much needed rest that got me thinking.
As much as we needed a rest stop, it wasn’t our final destination.
Sure, we all need to stop and rest for a while; reflect on life and get our priorities back in order, but we also need to keep moving forward. Sometimes too long of a rest can be a trap. Maybe you’ve found yourself in a familiar ambush…
- Your financial situation has you against the ropes and you simply ignore the calls from the creditors (I’ve done this myself)
- You just lost your job and every part of you gives up looking for another one. (done this too)
- You’re married to Freddy Krueger or Mommy Dearest and you just want to sleep it all away. (Kris did this one with me!)
There is a healthy rest and a not-so-healthy rest. One of them connects you to God which pushes you forward. The other connects you to your flesh, which freezes you in your tracks. Can you imagine if we had just stayed at the Rest Stop?
Certainly, the rest stop was peaceful, tranquil and comforting. There was a restroom, fresh brewed coffee, plentiful snacks and gorgeous places to hang out. But it wasn’t permanent. It wasn’t our destination. And that’s often what we do; we find a rest stop, but sadly, we make it our journeys end.
Look at what Jesus and the disciples did in Mark 6:32 immediately after they rested…
“Jesus saw the huge crowd as he stepped from the boat, and he had compassion on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.”
Jesus received his rest and then went right back to work. That’s a prescription for Godly success!
Friends, I write this to encourage you. We all walk an often turbulent road, and God certainly calls us to rest in Him at times. But that rest needs to be intentional. It’s a rest where you get away in order to get back on track. It’s a place where you meet God in order to move forward. And that’s what we did…
After about 30 minutes of resting, we decided it was time to move forward. We washed up, got in the car and off we went! We laughed again. We held hands in the car and we listened to photonic grungy-metal all the way to Seattle. It ended up being an amazingly memorable day that ended oh-so sweet!
If I could just end with a short Bible verse that tells us exactly how to get back on the path that moves us forward. It’s found in Proverbs 3:5-6.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.”
Isn’t that amazing! God only wants us to seek him out with all our hearts. And when we do, our path forward becomes crystal clear.