There are few places in the world where history truly overlaps with the present. Some are boring stuffy places, other more grand, but one is a sleepy little town in New Mexico named Gallup. History slams face to face with today not because of the quaint motor lodges or the proximity of the Indian reservations. No, Gallup gains this distinction because old Route 66 runs right through the town.
On a recent trip there, my husband, Richard, and I stood in the middle of the route – right on the center double line. If you squinted just right, you could almost see the traffic, hear the rumblings of the old 1950 gas guzzlers and listen to the joyful laughter of the travelers headed east or west. It didn’t matter which direction…they were, after all, on a grand adventure.
Which makes looking back, bittersweet. Sweet because of the joy of the open road, the opportunities of Route 66 for Americans, recovering from World War II, to discover their land, their great country – some of them for the very first time. Bitter because no one likes to be abandoned. The road is a relic right now – overlooked and out of place. History reaching beyond the bounds of time, yet still unable to keep up with modern advances.
Which touched me deeply as we stood on the yellow line because even as adults, we can’t escape the feelings of being overlooked, outside, left out. That’s one thing we’ll never be with God – unless we make that choice. God will never leave us or abandon us. And I’m convinced God is the only one who knows which choices will bring me life and joy, and which ones will bring hardships that He wouldn’t have chosen for me if I’d asked. The only way I know to be sure of the correct answer is to invite Him into the decision-making. Then, if my choice doesn’t seem logical or I get push-back from others, I can still lean on the knowledge that He’s in it with me. I’m sure not an expert at this, but He knows I want to keep learning how to trust Him more and more.
2011 is still a very young year. We’ll face both opportunities and choices. I’m asking that with every choice you are facing, that you ask the Holy Spirit to guide you toward the answer that brings you life, fulfillment and joy—even if it’s the answer that doesn’t make sense on the outside. May you experience the sound of His voice in a new and personal way…no squinting needed!