I've been with these people for seven days straight now, day in and day out, with hardly a break. I've loved it. There have been special moments, and some very, very difficult ones -- times that point out all that's right and good in family life and what can go wrong. Well, I must admit it: at certain times in vacations, there are those moments that can be downright terrible, when some selfishness or petty argument comes to a head and, just briefly, you consider turning back, leaving the road, going home where, though you are still the same person, at least there is the small comfort of not spending a lot of money to argue and be selfish on vacation when you could do the same more cheaply at home.
I won't name names and I won't give specifics, but tonight was one of those times I considered turning back, when I was reminded of just how deep the sin nature goes in me (as if I could forget). Vacations are good. They remind us who we are -- good and bad. They sharpen our sense of God's grace -- grace in what He has given us in goodness, grace in what he has given us in forgiveness for the sinful people we are. We find out how good life can be, and how bad we can be.
Tomorrow we head to Santa Monica, where we'll be given plenty of encouragement to be selfish and self-absorbed. Let's see who we are there. Let's see what kind of people we are in the place where you can have what you want anytime you want it, when there's so many things to distract and entice. Let's see who we are.
We can't leave the road. The trip's not over, we're not done, for good or bad we're in it for the long haul. Eugene Peterson had a name for it when he titled his book "A Long Obedience in the Same Direction." I'm just trying to keep it in the road but, really, I've made my plans, consulted Fodor, Frommer, and McNally, but God is running things. Thank God He is. I'm not much of a tour guide. I'm running on empty, but God fills me up.