“I’m going to marry someone who will stop and play in the snow,” our daughter announced. At the time, we were on a family road trip across winter-white mountains. And the purpose of the journey was to get to the destination. Safely. And in good time.
But what if the goal of a long drive could also be about making memories along the way?
I think this principle applies to life, as well as long road trips.
My first husband Gary and I were frugal and careful with our finances.
Which is a good thing.
But we only dated each other on Valentine’s Day, anniversaries, birthdays. And we rarely spent money on what we considered frivolous things—like an Alaskan cruise which we almost cancelled because we needed a new computer at the time.
Not a good thing.
And then cancer showed up and said, “Maybe you ought to make some epic memories while you’re still alive.”
And I suspect cancer dictated this same message to Dan, my new husband who lost his first wife to cancer.
This past week, Dan and I made a whirlwind trip to visit family in Northern California before heading up the Oregon coast on a loop back home.
Along the way, we stopped to wander through the redwoods (and maybe hug a tree or two because after all, we’re Oregonians).
And we purchased a kite and attempted to launch it on a windless Pacific Northwest beach, running and laughing because the kite refused to soar.
A hotel room on the water. Seafood for dinner. Catching up with a friend over a walk. A surprise visit to disrupt the grandkids’ online school day (because this is what grandparents get to do).
When you think about it, long road trips sliced into leg-stretching, ice-cream-licking, kite-flying, snowball-throwing breaks make the journey so much more enjoyable.
What if …
Some stretches of life’s journey are sweet. And some are unbearably heart-rending.
But what if we stopped to make memories, and stretch our legs, and sample food truck fare, and find the perfect kite, and feel the sand on our bare feet?
Would that help make the challenging moments easier to bear, more holy—as we allow God to shape us through the hardships?
Our Creator says to us:
Be still and know that I am God. — Psalm 46:10
Be still. Be unhurried. Take the scenic route. Enjoy the journey with our people … while we still have these people with us.