Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Road Trip Reflections: Past Patterns

The week before Thanksgiving, we took a 1,200-mile road trip through Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and southern Illinois. Had a few musings …

In our room at one B&B, the wallpaper was the exact pattern my ex-husband and I had labored to put up in our dining room back in the 1970s. The pattern was sweet—small, alternating cornflower blue and rosy pink hearts in vertical stripes. In our B&B room now, the browned edges of each section were curled up at the seams. Beneath the jagged-cut bottom, I could see what looked like brown-and-yellow geometric-patterned linoleum beneath the heart wallpaper. Hmmm, I thought. Marriages separate at the seams, too, because older, not-properly-disposed-of past patterns clash with new romance.

Speaking of not-properly-disposed-of past patterns …

Leaving our B&B, we headed toward a little town we’d visited the day before, just north of the B&B. Or we thought we were headed there, anyway. Turns out, instead of heading north, I’d turned east. We went about 10 miles and our entire conversation reflected uneasiness:

·        That’s an unusual looking tower. What is it? A cell tower? I don’t remember that from yesterday.
·        Wow, get a load of that humongous American flag above that farm house. Did we see that yesterday?
·        Now there’s a junkyard for those antiques scavengers on TV. Look at that school bus for sale; its engine has been stripped. You know, if we’d passed that yesterday, surely I’d remember it today, wouldn’t I?
·        There’s another water tower on stilts—looks like the Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz. It says Tiffin on it; I don’t remember going through Tiffin yesterday, do you?
·        I thought that town was only about 3 miles north of the B&B; we’ve gone 10. Uh-oh, here’s a high school. I KNOW we didn’t pass that yesterday.

We turned around in the high school parking lot to head back, and you know what? The whole 10 miles backtracking, our conversation was marked by comfortable familiarity. Yup, there’s the Tiffin Tin Man. Oh, and the junked school bus. We eagerly spotted the huge flag. We anticipated the odd-looking tower.

These milestones were like old friends, making the wrong road feel right. I know some paths in my life feel familiar but do not lead to godly womanhood. To change then—to conform my mind to Christ’s, to travel from the woman I was to the woman God wants me to be—I cannot expect to feel comfortable seeing familiar sights, because sometimes comfort means I'm on the wrong road and not on a new faith adventure with God.

No comments: