Mile 4,869 - Home
So we rode together in a van for two weeks and almost 5,000 miles. What did I learn?
- Our country is a vast land full of unique pockets of culture. I pay just enough attention to politics to be dangerous, but after this road trip I have an all new appreciation for the political process, especially Presidential campaigns. When you travel Europe you drive three to six hours and you are in another country with people of a different language. When you drive across America you are exposed to its diversity and are left in awe of how we have held this thing together for the last 200+ years. You realize how brilliant our representative form of government really is. There is no human king who could adequately lead this nation with absolute authority. We need to be weary of the progressive ideology toward centralizing the American government. If we are not careful it will not be long until our road trips require passports.
- When you drive across America you not only realize the challenge of our political process, but of the mission of the gospel. Christians in the South are often isolated from the larger body of Christ and are deceived into thinking there are only a handful of ways “to do” church and be Biblical. Yet the Biblical thing to do is to penetrate cultures with the gospel. The message stands alone, the mission requires creativity. Our road trip reminded me of the magnitude of the Acts 1:8 mission and why Holy Spirit power is essential. It also made reading the Book of Revelation that much more alive and magnificent to me, realizing what it means that there will be people of every tribe and tongue brining praise to Jesus in the end.
- I covered it in my post about the Grand Canyon so I will not belabor the point here, but going west added to my confidence that theory of evolution is a farce and that it is an intellectual injustice that the Biblical flood is not welcomed into scientific discussion. It is impossible for science to be unbiased and for religion to be exiled from the lab, because in the end science always leads us to the question of origin. We have to somehow interpret the data. Science has a peculiar way of trapping us into pondering God.
- I loved my family before we left, but we have never driven 14 days and 5,000 miles together. I can remember days we have had a hard time with going to Wal-Mart. There is a certain amount of anticipation to a road trip, but there is also a fair amount of trepidation. Will I be writing a blog post that reads, “And on the third day, they strangled one another.” There were a few moments of nervy aggravation, but all of us returned home. None of us were strangled. I love being with my family. I enjoy my daughters. When we finally felt the comfort of our own mongo-King sized bed again I turned to Shannon and said, “I love it that I got to do all of this with you.” Experiencing new things is great, but I enjoy it so much better when I am with Shannon.
- I am a fan of dry heat. I alluded to this along the way, so I won’t belabor this point either, but when we got out of the van in ‘Bama Shannon said something about all the wild fires out West. I called her attention to the humidity by saying, “And here you can’t even strike a match the air is so wet.” Our church has relocated twice already. I vote the next move be to Northern Arizona.
- I like the food at home better. I loved Northern Arizona. If I had an opportunity to call it home for awhile, I might take it. However, I would miss the cookin’ of the deep south. My friend Dave and I went to a deli in Phoenix. When we walked in they had a wall full of Hellman’s Mayonnaise on display. In the south men display what they catch or kill on the wall. It is not unusual to walk into a man’s living room and sit on his couch just under the head of a deer. Apparently in Phoenix it is not unusual to walk into a deli that displays Hellman’s Mayonnaise like a trophy bass. When I ordered my sandwich I asked what was on it. In the ingredient list were the words “Hellman’s Mayonnaise.” But I’m not a mayo man, so I asked to leave it off. The guy looked at me like to shot his dog. He said, “We put mayonnaise on everything, we have to import this stuff from the East coast.” Obviously Phoenix does not have Hellman’s because Phoenix does not have Piggly Wiggly. You can’t eat granola your whole life and die a happy man!
A friend of mine asked me on the phone yesterday if I would do it again. I told him that I would do it again 10 minutes from now. I am blessed to have travelled as much as I have, but this trip ranks as one of my all time favorites. If you ever get the chance to take a road trip, go West. If you do, I recommend the hot dog at The Snow Cap Drive In – Seligman, AZ, the view from the Grand Canyon, the drive from Sedona to Flagstaff, the sea lions and the zoo in San Diego, and a van. I also recommend that you take your own bar of soap.
Back to life.