My family and I just got back from our trip to Boise, Idaho and the odometer and the messy windshield indicate that we put a lot of miles in. I am going to be spending some time tomorrow washing the vehicle. As I drove home on Monday evening, finishing off the last section of Interstate 84, I reflected on what a long road trip can do for a family. While I didn’t relish every mile of pavement we traversed, there were definitely some fun stops and memorable moments. Just outside of Pendleton, Staci and I decided we needed to stop at a rest area for our son Zachary. As he enjoyed his freedom from the bondage of a car seat I noticed him keying in on the freeway and the noisy, fast moving trucks. He seemed to really enjoy how big they were and we turned it into a game. Instead of whisking him back into his car seat, we spent a few minutes waiting for each passing truck to come whooshing by. This also helped Staci and I get some fresh air and relax a bit. While I have been bonding with and loving my son for 13 months now, I felt like I got to know him even more through this trip. I also grew to admire my wife’s motherly patience, instincts and gentle way with Zach as I focused on getting us to the next mile marker.
Road trips can be good for teams too! You can learn more about people when you are in close proximity (maybe even sharing a room) and have nowhere else to go. Things aren’t familiar and you are forced to rely on each other in sometimes hostile environments. You are more vulnerable on the road too; if you get stuck in the middle of nowhere, you have to rely on the people around you to get out (or AAA). With one or two vehicles, plans have to be made together which means meals are eaten together. There is a focus that takes place on the road, away from all the distractions and diversions at home. Everyone is there for the purpose of playing that game. I would love to travel with our teams here at Warner for many of these reasons. I have a new appreciation for our teams’ trips to LaGrande and Caldwell for games against Eastern Oregon University and College of Idaho. Taking such trips would help in connecting and understanding shared experiences with the team.
We chose to go some extra miles on the way home to visit my great aunt and great uncle in Grandview, Washington. I had not seen them in quite a long time. Despite all the modern technology (E-mail, Facebook, Skype, etc.) there is nothing that takes the place of spending time with people face to face. I got to see my cousin Aaron who I had not seen in ten years and his family and got to hear about the great ministry work God is doing through them. They live and work at a youth ranch and you can find information on this great place here: www.flyingh.org . It was great to see how God has blessed my relatives and hear how He continues to use them for His purposes.
At a rest stop in Boardman Pass, I read about the wagons of the early emigrants of the Oregon Trail and realized how long they must have traveled. I thought about the annual journeys to the temple in Jerusalem for the Passover and realized that these families must have had some interesting road trips together. It would be interesting to go on a road trip with God; admittedly He is on every road trip you take. The reality is you don’t need long stretches of freeway to get the same effect, just some quality time.