With a week off of pastoral duties, we drive north.
We drive through Waco and Dallas, over state borders, past trees and RVs. Barren fields and little post-war cottages whizz past and out of view. The miles roll along beneath us like water under a bridge all the way to our once-upon-a-home, Nashville.
It's like a deep exhale, this little family getaway.
Austin is home, and home is where the heart is, but sometimes we need to slow life down a bit. Time bends out here on the road. We have hours to listen to each other, listen to music, and listen to God.
There is meaning out here. We are not just a family, we are a merry band of travelers seeking adventure. We laugh at funny billboards and look for classic cars. We play the ABC game and hunt Cracker Barrel for dinner. We play in hotel pools and watch Star Wars.
We also fight when the car begins to feel a bit too small. We argue about how many gummy bears is too many (the answer is 26). We ask, "How much longer?" too many times and crack another Pepsi open in search of our sanity.
Because this road is paved in real life and adventures are hard won by brave hearts.
Yes, we drive north, exhaling the stress of the everyday. And once our time is up, we will be homeward bound, with happy expectations of familiar beds and the blessing of meaningful labor in a city we love.
Because life is a continual coming and going, it is a rising and falling of the tide of God's purpose in our hearts.
Today I'm not sure what is more beautiful, the view of what lies ahead or the lovely scenery out the rear window. Without a doubt, though, I am very grateful to be surrounded by these five loves God has placed around me.
As long as we are together, we are right where we need to be....