Cherry and I are celebrating 25 years of marriage this month. We decided to get away for a week. We planned a trip to Shenandoah Valley in Virginia. Yesterday we pulled out.
We live in a GPS world, so we just started following the directions as they came from Google Maps. It seemed simple enough, but eventually we stopped for gas. Here is where things took a turn.
I have a discount card for Flying J or Pilot gas stations. The nearest one was ten miles from the interstate. We were in PA, which has outrageous gas prices, and the 5-cent per gallon discount seemed like a deal we could not afford to pass up. We exited the interstate and drove the 10 miles to save a whopping dollar.
Once the tank was full we turned on the GPS thinking we would go back the way we came, but Google Maps was now recommending a new route that was 5 minutes faster than going back to the interstate. Awesome! We could reach our destination 5 minutes faster.
I know you are thinking our spontaneous new journey included massive delays or ended somewhere in KY, but you are wrong. Google Maps took us on a scenic route using backroads through small towns named Fort Necessity, Lost River, Gromania, and Mathias. As we took this unscheduled adventure something began to happen.
For some reason we never turned on the radio. We did talk, but not continuously. Mostly, we just rode enjoying the scenery with our windows down. As I drove my mind wandered to all kinds thoughts, but eventually I just ran out of things to ponder. As my mind finally grew quiet, clarity and perspective began to invade.
I noticed Cherry as she sat there beside me with her legs pulled up in the seat. The air whipping through the truck had messed her hair up. It was swirling around into her face and she kept brushing it aside. She was gorgeous. I realized how wonderful she is, how amazing it is to be with someone and not say anything and still feel so connected.
As we continued to roll through towns no one has ever heard of, I began to recall God’s faithfulness to me. I realized in that moment: He is good to me. I know this, but on those backroads I began to realize His goodness is not just a cerebral fact I claim to be true. I could feel it in my soul.
The backroads through PA, MD, and VA became a place of worship. There was no singing, no formal praying, no words at all. It was happening in me as the goodness of God embraced me. I soaked up the moment.
It was the best dollar I ever saved. May you have your own backroad adventure.