Every day and every moment can be a learning experience. As many of you know, my husband and I road tripped with our family to Arizona for a wedding. We started in Oklahoma, went through Texas and New Mexico, and then ended in Arizona. (Of course, we then had to take the trip back too.)
I started the trip with the mindset that I was going to learn something new... that I was going to hear from God. I made sure to take notes anytime I felt something was significant and then other things were just unforgettable.
Really, we should live everyday like that. We should live everyday expecting to learn something new and to hear from God.
So here are a few lessons I learned on a road trip:
1. WHY DID IT CHANGE?!
At the beginning of the trip, everything was going well. We were laughing, having a good time and then we checked the GPS to make sure we were on track. It showed us that it was a straight shot on one road, but then at the last minute the GPS changed our route. We were all confused and minor panicking.
"Where is it taking us?" " Why did it change all of sudden?" " What's going on?"
We obviously decided to follow the GPS, because we didn't know where to go otherwise.
After awhile, we realized the the GPS was just taking us around major city traffic and actually saved us some time. Once we realized this, we all laughed. I mean what else can you do?
Sometimes it's like that with Jesus. He "changes" up our route. It's no longer a straight shot that we had expected and hoped for, but instead it's a winding road with twists, turns, and changes. We get confused and we ask questions just trying to figure out what is going on.
But then we find out why. We see why He changed our route. We see why He took us a different way and why we had to endure all of those changes. It's all because He knows better. He knows better and He wants to save us from what we don't know is ahead.
2. ARE WE THERE YET?!
Looking back, this series of events is hilarious. It wasn't so funny though when it was actually happening.
On Day 2 of our travels, we left New Mexico in the morning and arrived in Phoenix, AZ around 5:30. Jarin's aunt and I had plans to go to the bachelorette party at what we thought was 6, so we were going to go straight there. It turns out it was at 6:30, so we then decided we would have enough time to drop others off at the hotel and then head to the party. However traffic was TERRIBLE. So then we decided we're just going to have to go straight to the party and call an Uber to pick us up afterwards. (Literally our plans changed at least 3 times in 10 minutes.)
We put the destination into the GPS and we arrive around 6:15. We had plenty of time, but even though the GPS was telling us we had arrived, we could not find the place! We even walked the streets a bit to find it, but we saw nothing.
Everyone was stressed out at this point. We were hungry. We were tired. We had been driving in Phoenix for at least an hour, not being able to figure out what we're doing and all I can think is "Are we there yet?!"
Oh and to top it all off, the keys were lost inside the car... It's a push to start, so you only need to have the keys in the car. The keys were in the car, but they got lost when we were in New Mexico. So we stood outside what was supposedly our destination, looking for the keys that we knew were there because we drove the car, but could not find them. 10 minutes later, after taking EVERYTHING out of the car, we found the keys. They were under the driver's seat...
After we found the keys, we continued to look for the "brush bar" (bachelorette party). We had been given another address, so we thought maybe we just got things turned around. We put in the other address, thinking we're going to the paint place, but when we arrive it's an apartment complex...
This did it. We were done. We've been all over Phoenix, lost, hungry, and having to pee. We couldn't figure out why we couldn't find this place! It was so frustrating.
Long story short.... we were at the "brush bar" the first time. It was on the other side of the building we were at. We just didn't go far enough in the right direction. The second address we had been given was to one of the bridesmaid's apartment for the continuation of the bachelorette party...
We felt dumb. We were right there, yet we couldn't find it. Looking back at it, losing/finding the keys was the same situation. They were right there, yet it felt like they weren't.
What can we learn from this?
God is with you. You may not feel Him. You may not see Him. But He is there. I know it can be frustrating when you feel alone or lost and that's okay. Its okay to feel your emotions, but it's the way you act on them that counts. So don't give up. Continue searching and praying. Jesus is with you.
3. BE CAREFUL!
Since we were in Phoenix, we decided we might as well drive 3 hours to see the Grand Canyon. None of us had seen it before and it just didn't seem right to be that close and not go!
Once we got to the Grand Canyon National Park, it took us a bit to figure our where we were actually supposed to go. There were so many cars and so many people. It was a bit overwhelming. We continued to drive and finally found parking at the perfect spot. We got out and once we actually saw the Grand Canyon, it was so worth it.
You hear a lot of people say, "it's just a big hole in the ground". But, if that's the case it is the most beautiful hole in the ground I have ever seen. If you get the chance, you HAVE to see it.
Anyways, we continued to drive around the rim and we made stops at almost all of the points, so we could get different views. I was loving it! I have an adventurous side, so I don't always see fear when it comes to heights or climbing mountains or stepping as close to the edge as possible. I find it freeing and exhilarating. My husband however, continued to say "Be careful!" as I would get close to the edge. It's not that he doesn't like adventure, he's just very protective.
Even though nothing did happen, it could have. The wind could have blown just the right way and I could have fallen. My foot could have simply slipped... a whole lot of things could have happened. My husband was right. I did need to "be careful".
All of that to say, be brave, but be careful. Go for the thing and take the risk, but also be smart about it. We all have this desire to be free and make our own choices, but a part of freedom is responsibility. So be brave, but be careful.
There were many more learning experiences during this 6-day trip, but it would be too long to fit into one blog post. I hope that y'all got something from these words and I pray that you remember to always be willing to learn something.
To sum it all up:
- God knows the way, even when we don't.
- God never leaves us, even if it feels that way.
- Be BRAVE, but be CAREFUL.
"For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding."