When driving from place to place, many of us often type our destination into our phone or GPS and it will supposedly give us the “quickest” or “shortest” routes to our destination. I say “supposedly” because often this is not quite accurate, it just uses interstates and main highways in its calculations. Taking these main roads may be nice and speedy, but we really miss many interesting things around the areas we are driving through by doing so. While it may be handy when I’m traveling for work (which is often), when I’m out without a tight timeline for my destination, it is nice to check out some less obvious areas or taking a scenic drive.
That is one thing I love about vacation. This year, we took a day to ride motorcycle through some tiny towns around a lake area in Minnesota. Our drive was very scenic, and we took miscellaneous roads to our destinations, driving through very small towns and winding through hills, valleys and over plateaus covered with farmland. While this ride took us up and down areas I’ve been in before (and this is my home state!), I began to realize how much I really did not know about what was around the few towns I’ve been through.
It was a beautiful and very scenic drive. We made a few stops too. One stop was a flour mill that had a neat history. Another stop was at a little shop in a little town named after me (Mom wanted a photo!). We also found a bunch of welded sculptures on a town corner along the way. After a little rain, winding roads and historic stops-including my own clothing store-we had a wonderfully adventurous day. My dear husband and I even ate crackers and cheese while riding through the rain on our motorcycle…that was an interesting adventure in itself.
And while I snapped a few photos here and there, the thought crossed my mind: do I treat people like I do my driving? By that I mean, do I take the easy way around getting to know them and not make a real effort to take time getting to know the parts of them that aren’t obvious or basic? Or do I dig deeper into who they are, really interested in what they are passionate about and who the Lord created them to be? They are a valuable person to the Lord, and He knows them well. As a friend of Christ, I should sew into their lives as well.
“You know when I sit down and when I rise up; You understand my thought from afar. You scrutinize my path and my lying down, and are intimately acquainted with all my ways. Even before there is a word on my tongue, behold, O Lord, You know it all. You have enclosed me behind and before, and laid Your hand upon me.” Psalm 139:2-5
With that reflection, I decided I could make a better effort to really get to know some people I meet, allowing me to encourage them more wisely and honestly. People are so interesting, why just take the quick route in getting to know them? I think part of my effort should really be to take the TIME, no matter how much in a hurry I think I am or should be.
“Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing. But we request of you, brethren, that you appreciate those who diligently labor among you, and have charge over you in the Lord and give you instruction, and that you esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Live in peace with one another.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11-13
My mother has always done a great job of this (even if sometimes it annoys me because I want to get going). She has always made a fantastic effort of getting to know everyone she talks to…even the Walmart checkout lady and the salesperson helping us try on clothes. I’ve learned so much about people from the years when I am shopping with her…you have no idea. While Mom and I may have different personalities, her example in giving people the attention we are called to give is one that I would like to follow. And then one day I can annoy my kids. too! (Just kidding…but seriously).
S0 next time you are speeding through a town on your way to a specific destination, maybe take a moment to drive a few roads out of your way, or maybe even on your way but not on your GPS’s or phone’s route. You may find it interesting what you find! Enjoy the route!