When our family moved from Wisconsin to Minnesota, I had no idea what a project it would be to make those holiday trips back home. We had a small car packed with a playpen for our toddler; our meager homemade gifts, diaper bag, pillows, snacks for the long journey, three kids, our dog and us. The trip was a little over 300 miles. Camp songs became boring after 50 miles. Much of the time was spent sleeping or hearing, “Are we there yet?
My husband is a master packer and filled every empty space. It was like filling a jar with stones, then adding pebbles, sand and water to make use of each inch. We made the rounds in order to see everyone. We visited places our children had never been to. They had endured pats on the head and the usual – “My how you’ve grown” or “how old are you now?” – from complete strangers.
Family reunions are like that. When you’ve been apart for a while, you can’t wait to see each others and after a few days, you can’t wait to leave. Too much food; too much getting in and out of the car; too much catching up; and too little sleep makes for a cranky family.
Our road trip included going through snow, sleet, icy road conditions and numerous potty stops. My husband secretly thought we wouldn’t make it, but he never let the rest of us know. As with every thing we did in our lives, we flew by the seat of our pants.
Life itself is a journey. We’re always excited to reach our destination and often disappointed when we arrive. We run into obstacles along the way, which create tension and stress. When we get there, we encounter more road blocks. We argue over the small stuff and soon it becomes big stuff. We strive for perfection and often set impossible goals for ourselves. The trip becomes more of a grind than we’d hoped for.
As our children grew, our family travels changed drastically. My father passed away, my mother in law moved to Minneapolis and my mother to Florida, so those road trips turned into airline tickets, making it financially impossible to travel.
When life changes our situations, it’s always so good to know that God remains the same every day. He’s with us on this expedition of life. He carries us through the tough spots and pushes detours out of the way, making it possible for us to reach our final home. There will always be challenges in life, but we can be confident that God is in control. He makes the voyage bearable. More important, He gives us eternal life at the end of it. We can count on it.