Road trips are fodder for unforeseen adventure and blessings. Thus far, our current one has traversed nearly 2,000 miles through eight states. It has been laden with a variety of unexpected adventures and blessings that have God’s fingerprints all over them. Here’s snippets of some that have been ours to experience along the journey.
With eight decades behind me, memorial services are no longer a stranger. They’re becoming increasingly somber, considering mine could be next 😊.
Our road trip began with attending a memorial. A wonderful centurion, Betty epitomized loving life to its fullest while loving and encouraging everyone to who crossed her path. I was my privilege to be one of her e-mail correspondents. Betty would always evoke a smile by signing off each email with a string of XOXOXOXOs . . . she was my oldest girlfriend 😊
Shortly after her 100th birthday Betty passed into Eternity to be with her Abba . . . but not before planning her own celebration of life memorial. The auditorium was packed with people whose lives her contagious spirit had touched with the love of her Savior. The eulogies, music , songs, and personal stories shared by her children, grandchildren and pastors portrayed a legacy unmatched by any memorial service I’ve ever attended . . . truly a live well lived by my oldest girlfriend 😊 – Thank you Betty
Back on the road, the steady drone of the highway was suddenly interrupted by the ominous vibrating sound that churns every motorist’s stomach . . . we had a flat tire!
Pulling off the side of the Interstate, Ellen dialed up AAA. Sharing our predicament, we were told help to remedy our ‘deflated’ dilemma would arrive with 30-45 minutes, and we’d soon be zooming back down the highway. Two frustrating phone calls and nearly 2 hours later, AAA (Annoying-Aggravating-Absent) had yet to appear. Unloading the luggage uncovered the donut- tire . . . will this thing really work???
Just then, a black sedan pulled off the side of the highway, backed up, and a young man stepped out.. Despite my ‘macho’ “I got this” declaration, he insisted on changing the tire, adamantly refusing the $20 bill offered for his much-appreciated assistance. Sam was originally from Philadelphia; recently married; and had just started an emergency transport business with his brother. We exchanged contact information before parting ways, ours at considerably reduced ‘donut tire’ speed.
The next day I noticed a voicemail notification on my phone. It was from Sam inquiring if we had safety made it to our destination . . . Wow! . . . comforting assurance that in these divisive Me First!!! times, Golden Rule individuals like our highway ‘Sam’aritan are still out there – Thanks Sam
Discovering the school I once taught at has been closed and setting vacant for decades made me realize I’m getting old. Unexpectedly meeting a former student and previous mayor of the small rural town the school was located in made me feel ancient! Thumbing through my high school yearbook is like reading the obituaries. Reality confirmed . . . this ragamuffin’s a bonafied ole duffer 😊
The upside, recalling memories with my former pupil was a genuine delight, grateful for past times shared, and sparking hope that dying young at a ripe ole age remains a possibility 😊 – Thanks Susan
One my life’s most priceless blessings has been the trust and counsel of a rare few, openly honest accountability partners. God has graced my life along life’s journey with such special men who listened to my most grievous sins and failures, and transparently shared theirs. When needed, they lovingly spoke hard truth without judging, condemning or condoning, and continued to love and pray for me regardless.
“It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise, than for a man to hear the song of fools.” – Proverbs 27:5
Some 40 years ago one of these men counseled me as I wrestled with a vengeful, get-even spirit. Ultimately rejecting his wise advice to forgive and reconcile with the one who had betrayed me, I chose an unforgiving “…eye for an eye…” retaliatory betrayal that, if everyone engaged in, would render the whole world blind.
Gratefully, Ed refused to abandon me, continuing to pray and console me as I struggled and suffered the tragic effects of my wrong decisions . . . whose grievous consequences I own, and sadly remain to this day.
Ed has since gone Home. However, it was my privilege to visit his still spry 90-year-old widow Melva and her son and daughter-in-law. Openly sharing regrets that my past unforgiving and spiteful actions had caused them and others, they never once alluded to them. They quietly listened, preciously responding with unconditional love and acceptance of me just as I am today . . . not as I should have been back then. – Thank you Melva, Jim, Diana, and posthumously . . . my faithful friend Ed
This picture was snapped standing in the shadows of dense mountain laurel on the shore of Promised Land Lake. It reminded me that amidst those times of life’s dark shadows, there’s always a patch of light that shines through, and the proverbial “…light at the end of the tunnel…” to press on towards.
My childhood summers were spent in Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains at Promised Land State Park. Roaming its forests fearlessly stalking ferocious bears . . . building ‘secret’ tree forts among the pines. . . . and catching monster large mouth bass from its lake was boyhood Nirvana. It’s also where I learned to “Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10) as nature gently drew me into God’s arms, listening to the still small voices and soft whispers of His creation.
Revisiting favorite places and reminiscing with my wife, names, events, stories and fond memories flooded my mind with remarkable clarity, mystically transporting me back through a portal . . . for a fleeting moment I was a young boy once again (some say I still occasionally act like it 😊) – Thank you Abba
Our road trip will be ending soon, but its memories will linger, and keep getting Gooder n’ Gooder 😊
Life has been an exciting adventure, whose undeserved blessings have far outnumbered my self-inflicted calamities. This ole octogenarian is forever grateful and at peace . . . headed for the Promised Land above someday with a guaranteed reservation. Hope to meet you there at Heaven’s Gate.
I M Blessed . . . May U B 2