Seriously, are we there yet?

I still remember the first time we took Natchez Trace for our Thanksgiving trip to Granny’s house. I was miserable. {My husband says that I use the word “miserable” too often. So, I’ve looked up some synonyms and will begin working “wretchedly unhappy” into my stories.} I just didn’t get “the Trace” at all. Michael would point out the educational aspects, the chance for adventure on the open road and the opportunity to view nature at its finest. Whatever. I’m just trying to get from point A to point B.Fence

The fact is that I’ve always been an interstate kind of girl. When I was young, my dad would plan road trips carefully. Every gas stop and bathroom break was mapped out in advance. Vacation began when you arrived at your destination. The drive down and back were just necessary evils.

So, Natchez Trace? It was slow. It was long stretches of nothing but us, open road and, occasionally, another traveler whom I could only assume was as wretchedly unhappy as me. I would sit and stare out of the window with a scowl on my face and a really bad attitude. Let the good times roll.

The last couple of years, however, I’ve softened toward the ol’ Trace. I’ve come to the realization that life wasn’t meant to be lived quickly. It’s easy to get caught up in just making it – just getting by. Maybe point B, for you, is naptime or pay day. You don’t care about the potential lessons or beauty in the moment, you just want to get to where you’re going and be done with it. I get it. I really do.

The fact is, however, that sometimes the Lord leads us down the long, slow road. He takes us the wilderness way. I want to show you a very interesting verse.

When Pharaoh finally let the people go, God did not lead them along the main road that runs through Philistine territory, even though that was the shortest route to the Promised Land. – Exodus 13:17

Do you know what these words mean?  There was a quicker way!

Someone, like me, has been in a position where they can see the interstate in the distance and they want to know why in the world they are wasting time on the Trace. Maybe God just wants us to slow down a little.

Last year, as we made our way home, we stopped in a little town called Collinwood. It was a welcome center and a gas station and, frankly, I was not all that impressed. I unloaded four tired children to go into another place that may or may not have clean restrooms. {Turns out, it was a positively lovely welcome center.} As we pulled out of the parking lot, we spotted a little shop with an ‘open’ sign. My husband wanted coffee, so I grabbed my purse and ran in.

The second I opened the door, I felt like I was standing in a little piece of heaven. Christmas music played softly in the background and the smell of apple cider filled the air. I never wanted to leave. Seriously, if you ever go that way, stop in Collinwood, TN and visit that wonderful place.  I came back to the car to get more cash because I just had to get some cider for all of the kids.

As we drove away, I couldn’t help but think, “I would have never seen that place from the interstate.” That, my friends, is life. All too often, we focus on the end. We just want to make it through this “season.” Maybe it is a newborn who does not sleep. Or a three year old that we just want potty trained. Or a school year that we just want to end. Or a debt that we just want to go away. Knowing God the way we do, we know he could snap his holy finger and fix our situation. He could move us quickly beyond this current struggle.

But there are some things we can only see and some blessings we can only receive on the slow road. It’s hard to recognize that when you feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere. The reality is that you can, without a doubt, choose to sit and stare with a scowl on your face and a really bad attitude. If you take a deep breath, however, and choose to be in the moment, you will find yourself seeing and experiencing things that you never “would have seen from the interstate.”

I am praying for each of you this week. Happy Monday!

2 thoughts on “Seriously, are we there yet?

  1. Love this post, Stacy! It made me tear up. I had a dad who wanted to get from point A to B as fast as possible and I remember arguments between him and my mom when she needed to stop to use the bathroom. I can laugh now but I remember the stress as a child. I’m so thankful my husband is more like yours and he has rubbed off on me in that aspect too. We get there when we get there and stop as much as needed AND wanted. The Natchez Trace detour does sound divine. I love to view beautiful country. I’m the type that stares out with wonder at all the old homesteads and farms as we pass even on the interstate. I wish there was an app to look up its history and story!!

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