What Lies Ahead?

What a beautiful day! A few white, lazy, clouds drift above, strolling along through the heavens, watching over G-D’s creation and enjoying the view. Magnificent scenery on both sides of the newly paved highway beg for attention. So much to see – the hours just fly by. You have a song in your heart and the lyrics keep repeating themselves as you tap out the beat on the steering wheel. Not a care in the world and you are so thankful to your heavenly Father for the wonderful trip you are on.

Suddenly the road turns and quickly narrows to a country lane – a gravel road – and the forest of cedar and vine maple thins out to scrubby patches of undergrowth. The skies seem to darken a bit and the powder puff clouds give way to a buttermilk sky. What on earth? The chuck holes get deeper and the car bounces crazily up and down and side to side and starts making “transmission trouble” noises. There are no signs of civilization as far as you can see. What could have happened? There was no hint of this on your map. This can’t be right!

“Oh, G-d! Please help me!”, you cry. “Please don’t let me break down here in this wilderness!” What happened to your song? What has happened to the warm cozy feeling down deep in your soul? The car gives one last grumble and slows to a bumpy stop. You have no idea what to do. Remembering vaguely what your brother said about opening the hood, you pull the little lever and watch as the hood flips up. Well, that’s a good thing! Now what? You don’t even know what you are looking for and your eyes dart over the unfamiliar jumble of wires and assorted mysterious black objects.

“Father, please help me. I have no idea what to do and it’s getting darker and darker. I can’t DO this!” After a few more minutes of searching for some thing that “doesn’t look right” all to no avail, you slam down the hood and crawl back into the car. More praying, more whining, more trying your best to figure out what to do – and then comes a quiet revelation that G-d is still on the throne and no matter what – all is right with the world! You are NOT alone! You know He loves you and cares about what is happening to you. You cuddle into the blanket that you always keep in the back seat, and are thankful for its warmth and soon you begin to relax and talk to the Lord with a calm assurance. You remind Him that you are so aware of His promise never to leave you or forsake you. You remember the many times He has watched over you and kept you from harm. You begin to praise Him and repeat some of the Bible verses you have committed to memory. Soon you are asking forgiveness for some of the spiteful things you said earlier that day to your family. Sleep begins to pull on your eyelids and you snuggle further down in the blanket as you begin to say the Shemah.  (Deut 6:4-9)
Sunshine and birdsong grab your attention and you realize you have slept all night in this place. With a thankful heart, you fold up your blanket, return it to its spot on the backseat and step out of the car to stretch your legs. After a short walk, breathing in the fresh morning air, you decide to try the ignition again, not sure of what may happen. Wonder of wonders! It purrs and seems to feel a little sheepish about its bad behavior the night before. Creeping ahead, you say another prayer of thanksgiving and guide ’ol Betsy through the maze of dirt and gravel.

Soon the sun has risen enough to take the chill out of the air and you notice you are leaving the scrub country. The road is not so rough anymore. Looks like smooth sailing ahead! Might be a great trip after all! A roadside café appears in the distance and you’re sure you can smell that coffee already. You finish a hefty plate of hotcakes and eggs and start off once more on your homeward journey, confident that the King of kings and Lord of lords is right there beside you and nothing will happen that He can’t handle.

You don’t know about the rickety, narrow bridge that will wobble and groan beneath your car right around the next corner. You can’t see the sharp cliffs that fall below on both sides of your car, and with no guardrail, that you will experience not too far ahead. You couldn’t even begin to imagine the shock and horror you will feel when you come upon a fatal accident and there is no one there but YOU to take care of it. But in between those times, there is beauty and grandeur and you proceed, full speed ahead with a heart of love and awe at what G-d has created.

Isn’t that just like our lives? We fly along, laughing and singing in wild abandonment only to be yanked up short with one horrific problem after another. This is life on our planet. Maturity brings the assurance that G-d, indeed, is still on His throne and all’s right with the world – no matter what. Just keep your eye on your destination and what ever mishaps occur along life’s way will only serve to make you stronger and Home will be the sweeter for it!

See you next time!
Happy trails!

Shalom, Sharaka

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