Today we will put away the Christmas decor for another fifteen weeks or so, and wrap up our new family tradition of celebrating Christmas In July. So I’ve been reflecting on my Christmas memories as a child this morning. Many of those revolve around road trips to visit extended family. And when I say road trip, I mean road trip. Like 1,000-1,500 miles and 20-24 hours of drive time.
We would leave on a Sunday night after church. We would load everything in the station wagon and hit the road. No seatbelt laws meant we kids could sleep on the slats Dad had specially made to fit in the back of the land yacht. Luggage underneath the slats and sleeping bags on top of the slats.
Mom would drive first because she was a night owl. She would get us to daybreak, and then Dad… having gotten some sleep while she drove… would take the helm and keep us rolling.
We stopped only to fuel up and eat. While we rode, we played all the classic road trip games… because there were no cell phones… or on-board wifi… or iPads… or built-in video players which could play videos or your gaming system. No, we read… and slept… and talked… and drove each other nuts.
But you know what? I never thought twice about what direction to drive… or how much money we would need to take with us… or whether gas stations were open on Sundays or not… or whether we would get where we were supposed to be going. Mom and Dad said, “Get in the car. We’re going to see your grandparents.” And I did. I just got in that station wagon, and let them do all the planning and driving. They took care of when to stop and when to go. They determined which roads were best for us. They made sure we had all we needed to make the trip as easy as possible. I just got in and trusted them.
Oh, that I would always treat God the same way. That I would simply get in the car of life which He is driving, and let Him take care of all the details. Sometimes I do better than most. Other times, I’m like a 6-year old trying to tell his parents what time to leave, which road to take, how fast to drive, what time to stop or go. I know, it doesn’t make any sense.
In those moments, my Heavenly Father is kind and gracious enough to say from Matthew 11:30, “Keep company with Me, and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” In other words, “Allen, let me take care of the details… You just get in and ride along with me. I’ll get you where you need to be, when you need to be there.”
I’m glad He’s driving. And since He is, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to climb in the back, rest, and have fun looking at the billboards and license plates we pass.
And oh yeah, just one more time this year… Merry Christmas in July!