A Road Trip With Jesus

mirror by Lawrence Whittemore via Flickr

I had been planning the trip for years.  I had researched it, read books, planned it out, drew maps, opened up a special savings account to save enough money, talked to other people who had been there, even went through catalogs and bought everything I thought I would need.  I guess it had occupied a lot of my thoughts and dreams.  It was going to be the trip of a lifetime.

One spring morning I awoke to the birds chirping outside my window.  At last my wait was over.  I packed my suitcases, assembled all my maps and directions, grabbed my keys, and headed out to the car.  To my surprise, a young Middle Eastern guy was sitting in the driver’s seat, hands on the wheel, grinning at me.

“Jesus? Wow, I knew you’d be coming with me, but I guess I just didn’t expect to, like, actually see you…”

“That’s ok, John— no one ever does.  Just jump in & let’s go.  I’m as excited about this trip as you are.  I’ve been planning it for a long time, you know.”

A bit taken aback, I managed to get out, “Oh, yea, I’m sure you have— I mean, with you being God & all, I guess you’ve planned everything, right?”

Jesus just smiled & said, “You sure have got me pegged.  Hop in & we’ll get started.”

I started to get in, and then realized that Jesus was still in the driver’s seat.  “Uh, Jesus, are you going to drive?”

He replied, “Yes, I thought that would work out better— I know the way we’re going.”

I figured that must be true, since He knows everything.  I buckled up beside Jesus, and we started down the road.

It was a beautiful sunny morning, and I was starting to relax and enjoy the countryside when I realized that WE WERE GOING THE WRONG WAY!

“Wait, wait a minute Jesus!  We’re headed the wrong way!”

He just flashed that smile again and said, “No we’re not.  I got you covered.  Trust me.”

I was confused now— I looked over my maps, and there was no way to get to our destination going down the road we were headed.  “Jesus, there’s something wrong, look at the map here, we’re headed the wrong way.”

Jesus’ gaze softened somewhat, and He said, “We’re not going there.”

“What?”

“We’re not going there, John.  That’s not the trip we’re taking.”

That took a few seconds to sink in.  My mind tried processing it, but kept getting stuck.  I finally answered back, “I don’t understand, Jesus.  I’ve been planning this trip for you for years.  I’ve done all this planning and work, I’ve prayed & prayed about this trip, I’ve got these Bible verses to show how much this trip would please You.” 

Looking down at my treasured maps, I emphatically stated, ” I KNOW this is the trip you want me to take.”   Then, a pause, and more meekly I spoke,  ” I…  I… know it’s the trip I want to take too….”

I looked up from my maps, & I can’t put into words the look I saw on His face.  It was love & care & a touch of sadness, all rolled into one.  He replied to me, “That trip you planned— I know why you’re excited about it.  I know how much it means to you.  It’s a great looking trip.  But….  it’s not our trip.  It’s not where we’re going at all.”

Now I really was lost.  “But why, Jesus?  I was SO SURE…. Why not?  Why can’t we go there?”  I was getting desperate, and He could tell.

Jesus answered, “Some day you’ll understand.  Some day you’ll be okay with it, even thank Me.  But you can’t understand the reasons today, and you’re going to hurt today, and there’s nothing I can do to explain.”  He added, “All you can do is trust me.”

Half in thought and half in pain, I turned my face away from Him.  “I… I don’t know…  I don’t know whether I want to go anymore.”

Jesus slowly eased the car off to the side of the road.  He put the gear in park and turned to me.  His words were kind but firm. “John, you can choose to get out of the car.  If you do, I’ll wait right here.  But you know in your heart that you can’t take the trip without me.  Even if you tried, you know it wouldn’t be the same. ”

And then, looking straight into my eyes, He spoke, “And if I may be so bold, you need to decide in your heart whether your trip means more to you or whether the fact that you’re with me means more to you.”

I looked off again.  That was true, and that was hard.  Hard to admit that my plans & dreams were taking a bigger place in my thoughts & in my heart than Jesus did Himself.  Hard to realize that it wasn’t so easy to give them up either.

Still lost in thought, I felt a strong arm give me a big squeeze around my shoulder.  “Oh, lighten up!  You think too much, did you know that?   Stop thinking about the past that you can’t do anything about.  Stop thinking about a future that just existed in your mind.  It’s a beautiful day, and you’re with the best driving buddy in the world.  I say we do this  road trip, & do it up BIG!”

I smiled.  I knew He was right.  I let the tension go out of my shoulders as He pulled back on to the road.  It was going to be a great day.

3 comments to A Road Trip With Jesus

  • I’ve been in that travel more than once; however, I have not had a clear image of Jesus at the steering wheel.

  • Dena Brehm

    Absotively FABULOUS…! Don’t even know who you are (just followed a friend’s link), but I recognize you. Namaste.

    I’ve lived your story myself … I didn’t plan to end up where I am (though I’m really en route … there’s no arriving). Certainly not what I *thought* I was signing up for, and it sure was a painful journey, but MAN, it’s beyond-incredible…! I love my life. I think I’ll hand out here a while, and splash and play.

    Thanks for living it out-large.

    Shalom, Dena

  • Life abiding in Christ is a constant journey that requires a daily renewal, while accepting the eternal righteousness of Christ (John 15:1-7, Philippians 3:9-11). His perfect, spotless life acts as our tool, empowering our VICTORY OVER SIN (1John 3:9).

    Sabbay
    AdventistWheat

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