When my kids were small they had this dream vacation – a fantasy, really. It went like this: we (the family) would pack up the car with the basics – sleeping bags, snacks, stuffed animals and a few clothes – and hit the open road. We would then take a random north or south route on a major interstate, watching traffic with keen precision. Well, not the traffic, actually, but the vehicles that made up the traffic. We would try to find a family similar to ours with kids around the same age as ours and then we would……follow them. That’s right…….follow them. Until they stopped. In the vacantasy, the family would lead us to some exciting, fun-filled destination where we would spend our vacation at a theme park, or the beach – maybe a giant playground! I don’t think the actual destination was really as compelling as the adventure – the “we’re putting it all out there and don’t even know where we’ll end up” kind of quest that somehow as adults we learn to avoid with a passion!
We never actually took that trip, but I sometimes wonder how it would have played out if we had. We MAY have ended up at a Six Flags Over Somewhere, or we may have just as likely ended up at….a health clinic….a lending institution….a social service office. (I can hear my youngest saying, “Way to kill the dream, Mom!”) But if we really had followed a random family, on a random day in their lives, we really don’t know where we may have ended up. It could have been Disneyland…..or….not.
At the beginning of Jesus’ ministry I have a feeling that for his followers it was pretty much “Let’s pack up the donkey, follow Jesus and see where we end up! No idea where we’re goin’ but it’s gonna be awesome!”
And it was…..for awhile. Then it got uncomfortable…and dangerous…and disappointing… and really, really hard.
These are the things running through my mind at the beginning of this blogging journey through Lent. I’m excited to see where it will lead, but I am also aware that I may not always feel like cheering along the way. There may be some things I don’t really want to face. And it may at times be hard. But I trust in the power of the resurrection enough to “follow that car,” knowing that wherever I end up, it will be worth it!
“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.'” Isaiah 30:21