By the time you read this, I will be on the road again. Don’t worry, I promise not to post any vacation pictures, but I do appreciate your prayers. This is a long road trip and since I am now 64, the driver is getting older, and well, you know… pray for us! I have always liked the Willie Nelson song of the same name, and I too, like the road.
This time, I am headed to Washington D.C. by car, carrying two teens with me. I have an older son outside of D.C., but our mecca is the nation’s capital, and hopefully a Christian tour of the capital at night. I did that with a bunch of PK (Promise Keeper) guys back in the late ‘90s when over a million men converged on Washington to pray for our nation and leaders. PK guys are Christian men committed to prayer, holding each other accountable and supporting our pastors.
My first trip around our beautiful country was in the late ‘70s when I hitchhiked up through Milwaukee, a bit through Canada, to New York, and south to the Carolinas. It was a great two month trip. I grew up in a family of nine and we had very few vacations, so after graduating from college, it was my reward. Later, when I became a parent in the early 1990s, I took my tween son and step-daughter to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY; Niagara Falls; Yellowstone; Mt. Rushmore and many other cool places.
Road trips can be stressful and costly. We plan to camp and motel a bit, but when we get to D.C., we will leech off the older son and his wife for a few days. It is expensive to travel, but you can keep costs down by fixing your own breakfast and lunch, and living in style in a tent. The goal is to infuse my grandkids with a lot of Godly instruction along the way, and laugh our way down the interstate.
Something new that I am equipped with this time is Sirius radio, so we can listen to the kids’ music, Christian rock and comedy. We will also do some of the sports stations (86 is NBA sports-24 hours a day!)
Teens like music and stimulation. Another new activity is listening to an audio book, which I have never done. Again, get input (not control), from the teens as to what book you will listen to. If you have buy-in, the trip will be smoother and a good book can be a powerful experience.
One of the “Love Languages” is spending quality time together. My wife and I find road trips to provide lots of quality time. This is not the case for other couples.
My grandson is 14, and I hope Grandpa can teach him a few lessons of the road. One is the story of the Good Samaritan, and I hope we will help others as we progress on our journey. The grandkids will get a Biblical history of our government, a lesson on the importance of family and a lot of other unforeseen blessings.
Road travel is not for everyone. You have to be patient, kind, and able to cope with long suffering. But if you do travel with teens, you may be giving the gift that keeps giving. You can have lots of fun while you share wisdom with the young’ns.
It is important to pray, and have others praying for you, and remember the joy is in the journey. We will get where we are going, but how we get there may make all the difference in the world. And if it goes well, we can do it again, and maybe next time they will do all the driving and preparations!