Family vacations; where only the strong survive. If you have ever packed your bags, made a mix CD and put your family into the car to travel cross country, then you know exactly what I’m talking about.
A few years ago, my parents put together a family trip for my brothers and me along with our families to go to Disney World in Florida. The accommodations were made and the tickets purchased; all we had to do was get there. This was the first big family trip Cheryl, the kids and I had taken in a long time and we were all looking forward to it.
We borrowed a vehicle from my uncle, and a GPS from some friends; asking their son to program it for us since we had no idea how. I should’ve realized there was a problem when the first thing it did was take us the long way to get us started. But as we’d never used technology like this before, we assumed Lola (what we named her) knew best. We were forced to learn how to program Lola as we made our way home and found out she had been set up for interstates only and not the fastest routes; which explained why we ended up going through Atlanta on our way there.
Despite this, the real fun began after our first stop for gas. Everything went well; we gassed up, everyone went to the restroom and picked out their snacks. We were probably five or ten miles down the highway when Micah asked, “Hey! Where’s my iPod?” He looked for it, but couldn’t find it.
Pulling onto the shoulder; we all began tearing the car apart trying to find it. I was convinced it had fallen out at the gas station and was prepared to make an illegal U turn to go back and check when Micah said, “Here it is! I wrapped it up inside my blanket.” Relieved, I got back behind the wheel, put on my seatbelt and we resumed our trip. Every so often during the rest of our trip, Micah would ask, “Hey, has anyone seen my iPod?” which would cause my blood pressure to rise, and as I would start to get onto him for losing it again, he would start laughing and say, “Just kidding dad.”
There are way too many stories like this about our trip to and from Disney World for me to share in this blog, but I learned something from this vacation which I’ve tried to remember ever since. While we had a blast going to all the parks, riding the rides, eating great meals together and enjoying our family time, the things we remember the most and still laugh about many years later are all of the adventures we experienced in the car during the drive to and from Florida.
What I learned is life is meant to be enjoyed here and now, not later. Too many people get caught up thinking so much about Heaven and how great it will be when they finally get there, that they miss out on the joys of living here and now. Don’t get me wrong, once we get to Heaven, I’m sure there will be loads of fun there too, but let’s don’t fixate on Heaven to the point we miss out on all the great things we have here and now. It was Ralph Waldo Emerson who said, “Life is a journey, not a destination.” And we would be wise to remember this as we follow Jesus in this journey called Christianity.
David Felts is a long-time member of Word of Life church. He serves and has served in several different areas around the church such as : kid's ministry, men's ministry and he also one of the teachers our Foundations class. He has written two books and is currently working on his third one.