Saturday, December 22, 2007

Awake vs. Alert + Family Ties

I've had my share of road trips that last into (or even begin during) the wee-hours of the morning. I've driven my share of dark, windy roads on ridiculously small amounts of sleep and way too many Dr. Peppers/Starbucks beverages. And I've even braved some pretty intense elements on my handful of solo trips. But for some reason, this one really got me.


Not just patchy, here and there fog that lifts after a while. I mean, it lasted for about 12 of the 14 hours we drove. All the way through Missouri (read: Misery) and into southern Illinois and part of Indiana. I stayed awake with Adam from about 2 a.m. to 6 a.m. and then drove from 6-7, right before the dawn. My eyes were tired but I told him he could sleep if he wanted. Jenna and Ryan were in the back, completely out. That was a mistake. Stephen Christian's crooning tenor vocals and Anberlin's (sometimes repetitive) guitar riffs could only do so much to keep me alert.

I could only see about 10 feet in front of the car that whole time. Not having anything to focus on plays some really weird tricks on your mind. I always felt like the road was going to curve, but I was wrong every time. Not to mention we'd started our journey at 2:30 in the morning (which, in truth, wasn't all that far from the original plan) and I hadn't slept since the night before. So inevitably, I was fighting with myself internally.

I'm awake. But how alert am I?

You know those moments where you wonder if what you're doing is even that safe or healthy, but aren't really in a state of mind to effectively finish a thought? That's usually a sign that you should throw it in. I pulled over at Conoco and called it quits. I feel like such a wuss for only lasting an hour, but hey, I was Adam's navigator and conversation for 4 hours too, so that counts for something.

Needless to say, we were all very glad when we arrived in Michigan and made it to our respective homes and families. I ditched my stuff at the house and went to my brother's to celebrate his birthday. We'd barely made it past the tacos and dirt cake when we were talking about God's character and theology and truth and society. My brother got out his Bible and we all ended up at the table eventually, talking about some brutally honest things. This is pretty typical of my family, which is a big reason why I love being home so much.

These are people that I really, truly trust (fallible though we are) and that are fully entitled to speak truth into my life. God uses them in such powerful ways, even if my times with them are few and far between. They are true warriors, fighting for the right things (like the Kingdom of God) and doing what they were created to do.

I'm glad to be back for the week, and to remember the significance of the season. God came down and put on skin. He dwelt with us as a human for a while and showed us that He loves enough to do the unthinkable. Just to see us through to restoration and redemption and to give us a hope for Heaven. What a beautiful, joyous, unfathomable gift. I am eternally grateful.

May God warm your soul in this season. Merry Christmas!


Blogger cool dad said...

Praise God for keeping you all safe on the road! I felt nervous just reading your driving account because I've pushed myself to sleep-driving more times than I'd like to admit. Like you said, you know how dangerous it is, but you just can't bring yourself out of it.

If I can just make it 10 more miles...

I'll roll down the windows

I'll blast the radio

It seems like home is a great place to rest, recharge, yet also challenge yourself and grow. Thanks to God for that, too. Merry Christmas!!

7:14 AM  

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