I wanted to share this insight into our journey into our lives here.
This was written by my amazing mom who shares about parts of my life with a perspective that will help you to think beyond your daily schedules and places you go.
May you be blessed in each place you go!
ARE WE THERE YET?
That question was asked more than once as we made our way from California to Georgia back in 1974. Traveling with seven children in a Ford station wagon, during the oil embargo, was quite the experience.
We had two preschoolers (Dotty and Virginia); three middle school aged children (Sandy, Jeff and Linda); and two teenagers (David and John). Fortunately the oldest son, David had a driver’s license and was able to help out with the driving. Our plan was to drive straight through without stopping in order to save on hotel bills.
I didn’t know it snowed in Arizona. It was my turn to drive the late night shift. Everyone was sleeping and I tried, almost in vain, to see the road through the snow covered windshield. My wipers were straining to push the snow aside.
Soon I was creeping along the highway, following the tail lights of the vehicle in front of me. Everyone was sound asleep. Surely the snow would end soon. The car in front of me came to a stop. Horrified, I realized I was in someone’s driveway. Are we there yet? Not hardly. “Honey, wake up,” I said while shaking Charlie by the shoulder. “We’re in someone’s driveway.” I didn’t take the night shift again.
Missouri was beautiful. We had lots of stops along the way, mainly waiting for gas deliveries. Remember those days? On odd numbered days you could purchase gas if your license plate ended on an odd number; vice-versa with the even number.
After waiting three hours for a gas delivery we finally filled up the tank. The kids all piled in the car and we were off again. (This was in the days before seat belt requirements so the kids were always shifting around). “Mom, stop! You forgot Linda.” I thought they were kidding. Sure enough we had gone ten miles before we realized we were shy one kid. (Yes, we went back and got her.)
Needless to say our nerves were just about shot by this time. Are we there yet? Finally we made our way to West Virginia. We had planned a stop to see Charlie’s dear mother, Irma Ballengee. I had never met her and sure did want to meet the woman who had prayed for Charlie’s salvation. In her words, “I carried that boy ‘round my neck for 16 years.” Her way of saying she was burdened for her wayward son and prayed daily for him.
While driving around the hairpin curves in the Blue Ridge Mountain Range, we were more than a little nervous when we came close to the edge and the drop off went hundreds of feet down into oblivion. Are we there yet? Hungry Mother Mountain just about did me in on that stretch of our journey. Whew!
After a few nights of visiting and sleeping in Grandma’s little country home we set out for Georgia. We arrived in Warner Robins at 2 AM and rented a few rooms in a seedy motel next to Robins AFB and a railroad track. Around 4 AM the train went through our motel (not literally…but almost.) Are we there yet?
Soon we were settled into our 1885 farmhouse. Our kids got enrolled in school, eventually grew up and had children of their own; some even have grandchildren now. Are we there yet?
Life is really a journey. We never truly arrive, but only keep moving forward. With life come problems, challenges, rewards, and mistakes.
Sometimes we come to dead ends (Arizona); sometimes we make goofs (Missouri); sometimes we are in fearful situations (West Virginia); sometimes life has interruptions (trains in the middle of the night); sometimes there is lack (gas crisis); sometimes rewards (children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren), but we’re still not there yet.
Every day is a new day on this journey. Only when we see our Savior face to face will we be able to say, “We’re finally there!”
This past week I was privileged to lead a young man Christ who has a terminal disease to Christ . As we sat in the office I looked into his eyes and said, “You know you’re in a place. This office is just a place. When we die we’re going to another place; from one place to the next. This life is not our final destination. We’re not there yet.”
As I told him of the choice before him…the place of heaven or the place of hell, he made a decision to go the right place. Tears streamed down both our faces as he gave his heart to the Lord. He’s not there yet. Neither am I, but we are both headed in the right direction. Are you?