along these miles

I visited my aunt and uncle today. It is an easy drive, about two hours each way, on a familiar road. We had a good time together, and it was a great trip. I really should go more often.

I wondered today how many times I have driven this route. It is the same highway that leads from my hometown to the small town where I spent four years of my life in college. I came home many weekends at first, though fewer times as the years went by. I drove it alone listening to my eight-track tapes and I drove it with friends whose animated conversations made the trip go faster. I drove it when I was so tired that I leaned my head back so I could see through my squinted eyes. My boyfriend drove me home for the first time one Thanksgiving, and many times since then we have driven this route as husband and wife.

One dark night I was a passenger with my daughter when a bull ran into our car on this road. Yes, IT ran into US. We had no idea what had slammed the vehicle as we were traveling 70 miles per hour, but we thought it was still on the hood. Somehow my daughter miraculously slowed and pulled over without hitting anything or anyone else. (Actually the hood was knocked open on impact, and it stayed that way, blocking our view.) The gigantic animal had escaped from the local stockyard earlier, and the police had been attempting to catch it all evening. Then the bull “caught” us.

I have taken this course to be at parties, go to ball games, attend funerals, celebrate Thanksgivings with my family, go on vacations, enjoy weddings, and make college visits with my own children. So many travels back and forth along these miles. The exits and landmarks are familiar and reassuring as I venture along this well-traveled route.

Today I realized that I have never traveled that route alone, even when I was by myself in the car. And even when I have had family or friends with me, I know that there has been another presence there. I recognize that God has been my protector and my guide every single mile of the way. Yes, even when the bull totaled our car – we walked away with no injuries at all.

Today I remembered to say Thank You for His care along those countless miles.

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