On my last solo road trip from our home in Arizona to Minnesota I took a road less traveled. Well almost solo. I had my trusty copilot, Alex, my deaf 15-year-old cocker spaniel along for the journey. She is a wonderful traveling companion, so I wasn’t totally alone.
Just like with any of my other road trips I like to take different routes and see different things. This trip had me going thru the Southeast corner of Utah up thru the back-mountain roads of Colorado and thru the windy roads less traveled in Nebraska into South Dakota where I reached Hwy 80 to civilization.
Every time I step into the car and turn the key before I set out on my journey I get a lump in my throat with nervousness and a whole lot of scared. Will I be safe? Will I get lost? Will my car make it? But then I say a little prayer “God, I trust in you and thru the valley of doubt I fear no evil. I know you will see me thru and your good will always be victorious.” and push the uncertainty behind me as I start down the road awaiting to see where this next adventure will lead. Who will I meet along the way? What wonderful inspiring sites will I see? How will I grow from this?
I stop at my favorite coffee place for my caffeine encouragement before we set out on our way. I roll down the windows a little to feel the fresh air at my face, Alex likes that too, and hit the road in solitude. I look in my rear-view mirror knowing I am leaving the familiar behind. Again, I get a little pang of wanting to turn around and go back to the safety of the familiar, but I know that it will pass as I get further down the road. I turn up the mixed music that I picked out to accompany me on my way and my optimism returns. My faith tells me everything will work out for the good as I feel the rush of freedom of the open road and the thrill that awaits me.
This trip led me down a road that stole my heart away. I see a sign ahead that says, “low maintenance road ahead” and it really should have said “no maintenance road ahead”. I knew I was in Utah and happened to pick a road that is never traveled on. As I went up over a hill I thought I was the only one in the world. The road became nonexistent as it turned around the bend and for miles there was no sign of civilization. No power poles, no street signs, no houses, no other cars and as I look at my phone to check my GPS to make sure I was on the right road I quickly realized that there was no cell service either. I had 2 options. Let the fear grip me and turn back or know that I have faith in God and that he will see me thru and I will come out on the other side of this wondrous land with a better appreciation of the experience of the journey.
Of course, I chose the faith led tour and I am so glad that I did. The road was bumpy and winding but the sights were amazing. There were cliffs that were a mirage of colors all blending perfectly with bluish green sky as the sun was setting in the distance. The trees looked twisted and beautiful as if they were turning to catch the sun in every part of the sky. I was sure that if it was night that I could see every star in the universe. Rock formations that I thought were probably never touched by humans protruded out of the ground all around me as the road wrapped around them. I climbed a cliff thinking that maybe I was the only one whoever was on this cliff and stared out over the wilderness before me. I couldn’t hear anything that wasn’t from nature. No planes, no traffic, no conversations. Another hour down the road I stopped the car in the middle of the road turned up the song “Every day is a winding Road” By Sheryl Crow and danced and sang along because I knew no one was around to see or hear me.
After driving 2.4 hours and not seeing a soul or anything that showed that there was civilization other than the road I was on. I saw my first car. I knew I made it thru and just as I thought I spread my wings a little more gaining more knowledge about myself and the world around me. So, the next time you are faced with a challenge I encourage you to embrace the uncertainty, face your fears, challenge yourself and spread your wings. It will feel amazing!
"Faith means living with uncertainty, feeling your way thru life, letting your heart guide you like a lantern in the dark." Dan Millman