I’m sure you’re wondering what its like to go on a road trip and ride shot gun with Jesus. Several things stand out from that surreal ride to the Father’s Cabin.
First, Jesus was in no hurry! We were being passed all the way there. “Why are people in such a hurry?” Jesus commented. “Even while heading north for a weekend vacation, people are stressed and in a hurry.” Jesus was the most relaxed and pleasant persona I had ever encountered. “From my eternal perspective, its both tragic and comedic at the same time,” Jesus continued. “Life on earth is just a short blink of an eye, a temporary warm up act for the eternal life to come. Why is everyone so intent on rushing through it? Relax and enjoy the ride a bit.”
I pondered his words and remembered the Bible’s similar words: “Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone” (James 4:14). Jesus’ regular conversation was saturated with quotes from Scripture — so natural that you couldn’t tell when his words ended and the Bible quotes began…but I guess they are all the same for him. At one point I heard him paraphrasing Psalm 39:5-6:
“You have made my life no longer than the width of my hand. My entire lifetime is just a moment to you; at best, each of us is but a breath. We are merely moving shadows, and all our busy rushing ends in nothing. We heap up wealth, not knowing who will spend it.”
The second thing I remember from that drive was all the stops we made! I thought we would never arrive. Jesus pulled over at every scenic overlook, each historical marker, every wayside rest, several ma and pa diners for a snack, and a few antique stores.
“Check out that view, Jeremy!” he exclaimed. “Isn’t it breathtaking?!” I wasn’t that impressed, honestly. It was just a small river valley with some ordinary wildflowers on a grassy hill. It wasn’t the Grand Canyon or anything. But Jesus saw beauty in the things we take for granted. Every blade of grass, every butterfly, an oak leaf floating on the wind — he noticed and celebrated these things in much the same way as a mother celebrates her toddler’s crayon scribbles and finger paintings.
We stopped at an historical marker for a huge 300 year old white pine and he said, “Jeremy, look at this tree! Isn’t it majestic? Do you know how many storms this tree has endured? Amazing!” Or, the site where one of the earliest mining towns once stood in the late 1800s. “Those were the days, weren’t they, Jeremy?” he said as if I were around back then to remember. Hmmm….I guess Jesus was around then…and did remember those days.
My favorite memory was Jesus’ sense of humor. We stopped at several antique stores along the way, and Jesus would always go straight to the framed art section and find all the photos of himself. He would hold one up, stare at it for a moment and say, “Nope! Nice try.” Or, “Jeremy, check this one out! Are my eyes really this blue?” Or, “Blonde hair, really? What were you thinking?” he muttered to the artist under his breath. I laughed pretty hard.
Mostly, what stands out from the drive was his calming, piercing presence — his ever present attention to what was all around him. He seemed fully alive to all that life had to offer. The breeze. The warmth of the sun. The cricket in the ditch. The person in the car ahead of us. The birds on the power lines. The song on the radio. The oxygen being inhaled.
And me. He was fully attentive to me.
I felt at home. I felt secure and loved. I felt the layers of anxiety, insecurity, expectations and fear all falling away. In that passenger seat I could just be me. Just be alive, more alive than I had been for quite some time.
And we were only just arriving at the Father’s Cabin. The real adventure was about to begin.
PERSONAL REFLECTION: Do you need to slow the pace of life down? Are you rushing through life so fast and so busy that you are missing out on the everyday miracles all around you? Do you need to pull over to rest more? Do you need to enjoy the view a bit more? What are some ways you tend to “pull over” and enjoy a rest (reading, walks, hobby)?
PRAYER: Dear Jesus, help me to slow down and enjoy life more. Help me to stop and marvel at your beautiful creation all around me. I worship you today for all that you have made — every bird, flower, breeze and thunderstorm. You are an awesome God! Thank you for my life and help me to take time to enjoy it. Amen.