As we travel north for the winter (Yes, I know. You have the name of a good mental health professional.) I’ve spent a good deal of time reflecting on our summer. Questions flow through my mind about whether or not we were effective for Jesus, sensitive to His leading, and obedient to walk where He directed. I have come to the conclusion that on this side of heaven, there is no way to really know.
But I do know that we’ve seen so much more of His beauty than we would have, had we not traveled. We’ve seen sights that reflect His love for us in the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Natchez Trace, through Nashville, and Taledega, and in New Orleans. We met so many new friends whom we would not have had the opportunity to meet otherwise and we’ve been able to touch base with some old ones we’ve not seen in a few years. We’ve had the opportunity to share our faith with numerous bikers and non-bikers through the words I write and the songs my husband sings. And we heard from many that those gifts have touched their lives over and over again.
God encouraged us to go a short distance out of our way at a time when some friends needed some encouragement in their lives. We didn’t know it, but God did, that the husband would have a stroke while we were there. Our visit was a needed distraction and an opportunity to pray for this couple more specifically when they needed it most.
Through us, God stepped into the lives of some people who had no idea He was in the room with them. Their thoughts were certainly someplace else but when we bowed our head to pray silently for our meal, they remembered that they should as well … and did. We had the opportunity to touch lives at a variety of different congregations throughout the US when we visited their church to worship with them. Henry sang at a couple and they said the words blessed them. A word of thanks acknowledging someone’s hard work always placed a smile on their face.
I experienced some new things when I petted a Sting-Ray, had my picture taken with a Python wrapped around my neck, and held a Green Iguana in my hands. I discovered that my fear of deep water, after a near drowning years ago, has abated and I could enjoy snorkeling once again. My husband and I also had the chance to refresh our relationship, take it out and shake the cobwebs off. Sometimes, we’ve found, we get so involved building and maintaining other relationships, we forget about the most important one, next to our relationship with God, of course.
The writing has suffered this summer, so when we hibernate, I’ll have a lot of catching up to do. But I certainly have a lot of things to write about, new adventures to give my characters, and new cultures and customs to add into some scenes. Traveling, I think, broadens one’s perspective. It adds a spark to an otherwise insular point of view. And God’s world is certainly diverse, something we’d miss if we stayed home all the time.
So while we are heading for colder climes, and we will miss the opportunity to ride motorcycle until next spring, we look forward to catching up with our winter friends, our family, and our church connection. We’ll get busy right away with Christmas preparations, like pulling out my 14 tubs of Christmas treasures and transforming our home. It will be good to sit in a room that doesn’t move, write at my computer instead of my IPAD, and prepare for the season to come. It’ll be here before we know it … and we’ll be off again.