This has been the longest ride of my life. My legs feel restless and I’m hot and sweaty from the sun beating down on my poor little head.
“Are you sure we are headed in the right direction?” I finally ask, knowing something has to be wrong for it to take this long.
Neither mom nor dad respond immediately but I can tell they heard me. From the back seat where I’m sitting, I can’t see the expression on their face but I imagine they are both worried.
“I promise you,” dad finally says. “We will get there.”
“Yes, but are you sure we didn’t take a wrong turn?”
“Yes, son, I know where we are going and we are right on track.”
I sigh. My dad seems really calm which can either mean he knows what he is doing or he is lost and doesn’t want to scare me.
I look to my right and see my sister is fast asleep, drooling on her pillow. How in the world can she sleep so long? This trip is wearing me out and she’s fast asleep enjoying the ride.
Actually, that’s a good idea. Long trips always go by faster when you sleep through them. I decide to follow my sister’s example (all except for the drooling) and lay my head against the car door. My mind feels like it’s in disarray but I finally make myself fall asleep.
Suddenly the car swerves and I’m jolted awake.
“Oh my gosh!!!” I scream. “We almost wrecked!”
“You jolted yourself awake,” my mom assures, laughing as she looks back at me. “We didn’t almost wreck, honey.”
“How long was I asleep?” I ask my heart still pounding from the near-death wreck I had imagined. “It looks like the sun has moved a lot since I fell asleep,” I notice, looking out my window.
“You slept a few minutes,” my mom replies.
“You’re kidding?!” I ask in shock. “Only for a few minutes?! Are we not almost there yet?”
“We are about two minutes closer than when you asked the first time.”
I lay my head back against in the seat in dismay. Out of the corner of my eye I see a map tucked behind the seat in front of my sister (who is still sleeping). I pull out the map and begin trying to figure out where we are. I need to wrap my head around this or I fear a mental breakdown is coming.
“Can you even read that?” my dad asks, looking at me through the rearview mirror.
“Not really, dad,” I say, beginning to feel my voice rise and fall. “I just . . .” I feel the sobs coming up my throat and I’m not able to hold them back. “I just feel lost and like we’ll never get there. It’s been a really long day and my head hurts from the sun. I’m feeling car sick like I’m going to throw up. I don’t think I can do this anymore, it is just too hard!”
I let my emotions pour out of me. The tears flow down my cheeks as I let it all loose. My dad doesn’t say anything. He just listens patiently as I have my emotional meltdown.
“I’m sick of people saying we’re almost there,” I continue, “And yet we never get there! I’m just not sure I can handle the stress and the trauma of this trip!”
A few minutes pass and my sobbing begins to transition into whimpers. My dad just keeps driving.
“How fast are we going anyway?” I finally ask. “I’ve noticed that red van has been in front of us forever. Are they even going the speed limit?!!”
Dad still doesn’t answer nor does my mom say anything. Finally I come to my senses.
“Dad, you’re right I’m just being a pill! I’m just being impatient and selfish. I surrender everything! All my hopes and dreams of finally getting out of this car,” I say with passion – hoping this was the real purpose my dad was taking so long. Surely, now that I have surrendered everything we will arrive. “I know I acted like a little brat just now,” I add. “And if I was you I would have spanked me but you didn’t and for that I’m thankful.”
A few more minutes pass in silence and I begin to wonder if my dad is still awake. Maybe he can’t hear me.
“Yes?” he wonders.
“I want you to know I trust you. From my perspective it seems impossible that we would arrive and get out of this car. To me these doors seem so closed and the metal ceiling seems to be caving in on me but I’m going to trust you.”
“I appreciate your faith in me,” my dad answers back, with a smile written on his face. “And it’s a good thing these doors seem closed considering that we’re driving. Look, I know you’re worn out and tired and feeling like this will never end but guess what?”
“I’ll get you there. I’ll get you out of this car and I’ll pick you up out of your car seat and I’ll set you free.”
I smile. “I believe you.”
I hate to make myself look bad but this emotional rollercoaster repeats itself three times. I have three more emotional meltdowns, three more reassuring words from my dad, and three more moments of silence before we finally reach our destination.
Just like dad promised, he gets out and opens my door, unbuckles me, then picks me up out of the car into his arms. Finally I have arrived! Finally I am free!
My eyes are blinded by the bright light reflecting off the white sand but they soon adjust and I take in the deep green and blue of the ocean. My heart pounds with excitement.
I can smell the salty breeze mixed with the distinct scent of sunscreen lotion. I can hear the waves crashing on the shore and cry of sea gulls searching for a place to land. In moments I’m going to be running into those waves, feeling the cool water crash around me, tasting that salt on my lips and basking in the glorious sun light!
“We made it! We actually made it! I thought it was impossible but I never doubted you, dad. I just kept believing you.”
“Good for you,” he laughs as he sets me down on the sand. “Now go enjoy the water while we unpack the car.”
“I think our son just went through the longest 20 minute drive of his life,” my dad comments to my mom.
“I think it’s safe to say we have a very dramatic four-year-old,” she responds and they both laugh.
- Maybe you’re going through a long season of waiting on the Lord – Don’t quit! Don’t get discouraged! You have a heavenly Father in the driver’s seat and he will get you to your destination.
- Maybe you’re pushing for a breakthrough or contending for your destiny – Your daddy has you in his hands and he won’t let you miss out on the great plans he has for your life. Don’t give up hope!
- Maybe you’re trying to read the map and figure it all out – Don’t worry, he knows every turn and he isn’t lost. Just trust him. He has good for you!
- Maybe you feel like it’s impossible that God can turn your situation around – Don’t lose faith. He is so much more in control than you can fathom.
- Here is the reality: Our life is a 20 minute drive compared to eternity! And when we get to heaven it is going to be so much better than any beach!! We’re going to see God face to face!!! Every bit of fear and pain will be forgotten as we embrace the savior of the world! Love we can’t even comprehend will overwhelm our emotions. Joy surpassing anything we’ve ever experienced here on earth will fill us. He will be the fulfillment of every desire you have ever had!!! And believe me, it will totally be worth the wait!