I was 3 the first time we went on a long road trip. My mom was pregnant with my brother, if memory serves, and didn’t come with us for that reason, but I also suspect my grandparents were giving my parents a little break before the sailed into parenthood a third time. So we loaded up my grandfather’s large blue van and headed south.
I don’t remember much about this trip, except that we stopped at pretty much every McDonald’s along I-95. And that I thought the road would never end.
In case you’re wondering, I-95 does end and we took it all the way to Miami. Which, in the end, was worth all the endless traveling, bathroom breaks, and arguments with my sister.
It’s easy to see these kind of adventures as symbolic, which I suppose is why road imagery is so common. In 1961, Kerouac, author of the novel On The Road, wrote this about his journey:
“Dean and I were embarked on a journey through post-Whitman America to find that America and to find the inherent goodness in American man. It was really a story about 2 Catholic buddies roaming the country in search of God. And we found him.”
Kerouac’s version of finding God is definitely NOT biblically sound, but his point is valid.
Men build roads, but road build men.
Roads take us places, and a true God-traveled road will take you straight to Him. And that is better, as the psalmist says, than a 1000
This has been a tough year for my family. On this road, in 9 months we have lost 3 family members. But this Psalm provides comfort like no other, because it paints a picture of our eternal destination. And the whole reason why we started this road trip in the first place.
Yes, life on the road is hard and there is not always a McDonald’s when you need one, but the destination is worth it.
Because, “how blessed all those in whom you live, whose lives become roads you travel” (Psalm 84: 5)