Thursday, June 28, 2007

Turn-Right Rides



On Saturday afternoons when I was a kid, we used to pile in the wood-paneled station wagon...three in the front...three (or four) in the middle...and three in the WAAAY back. Looking back, these rides probably preserved my mother's sanity but I did not know it at the time. We just saw them as a break in routine. We would stop fussing and fighting for the hour or so that we meandered through the countryside. Turn-Right Rides we called them. No particular destination in mind. When we came to a stop sign we voted. Left or right? A decision was made and the car pointed in a new direction.

We played the Silo Game. 1 point for white silos. 5 for the blue Harvestors. You could only count the silos on your side of the car. We drove over a bridge with a grated metal surface. The Tickle Bridge. "Everybody put your feet on the floor, we're coming up to the Tickle Bridge." We laughed as the vibrations came through the soles of our sneakers. We held our breath as we crossed long bridges and our noses when we came across a cow pasture.

Mom would look out the window and enjoy the peace and comment on the houses. "Look how pretty that one is. I love that wrap-around porch. Look at that garden."

Dad, an agronomist, would study the corn fields. Sometimes he would even stop the car and inspect the health of an ear of corn. These were alway short stops because we protested. Who cared about the corn's constitution?

Aside from these visits to the cornfield, we rarely stopped. But sometimes we did. At a playground behind a country school. At a maple tree farm when the sap was running. We sat on the edge of our seats when we drove through the little town with the ice-cream stand. Sometimes we drove right by and and all of the kids felt deflated as the balloon of expectation was pricked. But sometimes we stopped. Soft-serve chocolate and vanilla twists in a cone or in a bowl were passed around. The cheers silenced by the softer sounds of licks and slurps.

We turned right and left and right again. We always made it back to our own driveway no matter how convoluted the route. My dad has a sense of direction like a homing pigeon.

This memory came to mind after I read yesterday's I AM Bible Study. Lisa uses the life of Moses and the Israelites to illustrate a Biblical truth. When trials come our way we can share them in a way that will make God famous.

Just over a year ago, on this ride that is called life, my husband came upon several STOP signs in quick succession. And did so I, because we ride in the same vehicle, called family. The signs were not expected. Neither were they "fair." For a while, we concentrated on the signs. We shared with a few close friends a play by play of how we had arrived at the intersection. We made decisions. Turn left. Turn right. We looked at the signs in the rearview mirror. (OK, so it was mostly me doing the looking.) What if we had turned right instead of left? Was there anything we could have done to prevent coming upon those stop signs in the first place?

God is good. He kindly turned my eyes from the intersection to His face. "You are missing the view. Stop rehearsing the details of these events. That brings glory to you...not to Me. Rehearse the details of My character. Look at Me. I have so much more to show you. Enjoy the ride and stop wishing you were on another road."

We have not "arrived." I do not know how this particular Turn-Right Ride will end. But I do know that I am beginning to turn right. I am learning to look out the front window at where we are headed. I am learning see more and speak more of the goodness of my Jesus. I know that my God is in the driver's seat. He created the sense of direction in the homing pigeon and eventually we will surely arrive at the destination that He had in mind when those STOP signs first loomed on the horizon.

11 comments:

The Preacher's Wife said...

What a wonderful picture of the Sovereignty of God!

Thanks for sharing this..:)

Lisa

Denise said...

May your marriage be greatly blessed.

Stephanie (Ocean Mommy) said...

Kate,

You asked if I had checked out this study and I haven't, yet! I'm going to jump over there and read a little. It sounds really good.

I'm praying for you dear sister!
steph.

Refresh My Soul Blog said...

This is so very wise and something I may print as a reminder to me. It seems to be a theme but I love the way you write it.

"God is good. He kindly turned my eyes from the intersection to His face. "You are missing the view. Stop rehearsing the details of these events. That brings glory to you...not to Me. Rehearse the details of My character. Look at Me. I have so much more to show you. Enjoy the ride and stop wishing you were on another road."

Thanks for sharing that wisdom!
Love ya!
Ang

Jean 1 said...

Once, you visited my site (www.happysahm.blogspot.com) and commented. I then felt lead to check you out and have been returning daily to read your writings, follow your journey and share some of the wisdom that you write. I feel compelled today to comment and say "Amen". It's so good to remember that although we are the ones walking the road, that God is the one who first laid the path before us. Rejoice for the steps of a righteous man, they are ordered of God.

Deborah said...

a word paints a thousand pictures I believe it has been said and this is what you have done thank you for painting it for me. love always me

kittyhox said...

This post really blessed me today.

I can't see around the next corner and I don't know which way the road/sign/car/family should go. What a great reminder to focus less on the decisions and more on the view. God knows. It's his map. We don't enjoy those Sunday (or whatever day) drives because of the destination. It's the interesting scenery out the window.

Awesome post! You're such a gifted writer...

NspiredByFaith said...

This is my first visit to your site. I found you via The Preachers wife. You are such a gifted writer! I have thoroughly enjoyed my visit!

Etta said...

Great story! I needed that. Thanks for sharing. I am enjoying I AM as well.

Nise' said...

Visiting here from the "I AM" Bible Study hosted by Lisa. Your second to the last paragraph spoke to my heart! Thank you!

Kathy said...

Kate, excellent piece - well written and insightful.