Road Russellings

Blogging from the road… I-70 somewhere in the eastern part of Colorado on the way to the YMCA of the Rockies at Estes Park. I can’t honesty say that I don’t prefer looking down on this particular part of the countryside from the 30,000 foot vantage point while wrestling to open a tiny foil pouch of peanuts. For one thing, the computer bounces around less when it is sitting on the little tabletop on an airplane. But then again, here in the car it is not shoved up right under my nose, a mere six inches from the back of the seat in front of me.

But on the airplane I do not have a chance to see the incredible texture and detail of this Kansas countryside up close and personal like I am seeing it now. And in case you might doubt it, there is amazing richness and texture to be found in the landscape of western Kansas. Really!

But the real reason I wanted to post today was to relate an interesting incident that happened as Joan and I pulled off the highway at about 7:15 last night (Sunday night) in Colby. We had reservations at the Holiday Inn Express and had plugged the address into our GPS system so we would be directed precisely to the front door of our hotel. The soothing female voice told us to exit at Exit 54 and turn right. She then told us to turn right at the next intersection and continue ahead, “…point three miles to destination.” There was a combination Wendy’s/gas station complex immediately past the intersection, but nothing that looked like a Holiday Inn…  Express or otherwise. After we had driven the requisite “point three miles,” we heard GPS Lady proudly announce, “ARRIVING at destination, on right.” There to the right of the car we spotted a pheasant scurrying across the road to disappear into a vast, undulating cornfield. If this was indeed our destination, we were significantly underprepared to take advantage of these accommodations.

After a quick phone call to the front desk of the REAL Holiday Inn Express, we were able to reverse our tracks and find the correct bricks-and-mortar location. But it was a moment that provided an interesting illustration of something that can (and often does!) happen in our walk in the world. It was an illustration of the way that in our steadfast focus on getting from Point “A” to Point “B” we can sometimes find ourselves trusting everything BUT our eyes and our common sense to get us there. Our spiritual journey is obviously infinitely more complex than getting from Kansas City to Estes Park, Colorado, but as John Wesley was so astute to point out, we are called to use many different tools in our quest to apprehend truth. The guidance of the eternal roadmap that is the inspired Word of God should be our first and primary touchstone, of course. Unlike our paper-and-ink roadmap however, it is a living, breathing, ever-unfolding resource for life, timeless and yet always new.

At the same time we have to lift our eyes to scan the surroundings and make judgments based on our accumulated experiences. Just like we did when the GPS told us we were staying in the middle of the Colby cornfield.

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