Observations from the Drive Home

Okay, so I lied. I will ponder after driving for twelve hours. Twelve long hours through five states, featuring sleepy Wisconsin, rush hour Chicago, and 70 mph through blessed Michigan. And now I’m finally home, where the cookies are fresh (go Mom!) and the toilet bowls are round. Has anyone else ever noticed the round toilet bowls? I only notice them after coming back from school, because at school they’re more of an oval shape. But at home they’re perfect circles. Maybe it’s a late 70’s thing, I don’t know. At any rate, I’m finally home.

Observations from the trip? Why yes, I have several. You know those U-turn things on the freeways that say, “No U-turn except for authorized vehicles?” Well I saw some authorized vehicles practicing on those tonight. I watched about three of four police cars and trucks do circles with the U-turn thingy. My only guess is that they were practicing. They were real nice about it too. They’d do their little turn around thingy, and then accelerate way beyond the posted speed limit, coming up on your bumper very quickly. Kind of like those really rude drivers do all the time. Then the slowed down and whipped a U-ey. Yeah, I was confused too.

I also noticed an interesting billboard campaign in western Michigan. I saw three billboards in this series, all within a 45 minute stretch. They were simple white lettering on a black background, although they looked new and shiny, not cheap and lame. Each one had a different phrase written on it:

“What part of ‘Thou Shalt Not’ didn’t you understand? -God.”

“Did you read my #1 selling book? (There will be a test.) -God.”

“I don’t question your existence. -God.”

I found these rather peculiar. They were big billboards, and although it was a very simple design, it was obvious that a lot of thought had gone into them. They looked better, and probably served their purpose better, than most billboards out there. Seeing as this area of Michigan is the Bible-belt of Michigan, I wasn’t surprised to see them. But their content troubled me to some extent. They seem almost flippant. Is this how we want to portray God to the rest of the world? I realize they serve a worthwhile purpose, I just can’t help wondering if this is the best way to advertise God’s message of love and hope. Seems like a rather confrontational approach, which I don’t think is always very successful.

Well anyway, when you have a twelve hour drive, you tend to think a lot. Here’s a few quotes on writing that book like I said I want to:

“Everything I do / It’s not enough for you / Everything I do / It’s not enough / It’s not enough for you / So I write a book of life / Using the best words I can find / For some struggler to snuggle up / When the world becomes unkind / When the world becomes unkind / Everything I do / It’s not enough for you / Everything I do / It’s not enough / It’s not enough for you / …So I paint a portrait of you / As if you had human disguise / With oil and canvas to be clay / To open up their eyes / Like you opened up my eyes / Everything I do / It’s not enough for you / Everything I do / It’s not enough / It’s not enough for you” (“Not Enough” by Caedmon’s Call)

“I will write my own song / I will write my own psalm / From the depth that is in us all / Comes a seed of hope to write my own song / …I’ve taken my life in my own hands / I’ve taken my life in my own hands.” (“Write My Own Song” by Dog Named David)

Tomorrow life will open up before me, and a new course may be found. It may begin with a few bumps, and some gut wrenching loneliness. Sometimes you have to stop and ask yourself just what you’re doing. What have you been doing? What do you want to be doing? Maybe I’m just fooling myself, or maybe I’m just the fool. But time will tell and shed the light of wisdom and experience on the so-called mistakes of the past. I would be a liar to say I am not afraid. I’ve shouted to the still night sky, and heard the echoing silence. Perhaps it was waiting for me to answer my own question.

Lead me onward, oh God, and let me not be a fool.

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