think we’re right about . . . here.”
It was a time before GPS. I
held a map of Maine toward my husband, pointing at a road that would
save us hours by taking us through, not around, the woods that swallow
the middle of the state. When we’re on vacation, we like to explore off
roads. But little did we know that this particular off-road was the
most off road we’d ever experience.
We should have known something
was a bit off when we never saw a highway or speed limit sign—not that
we could have driven fast if we wanted to. Especially when the two
lanes of road width narrowed into one-and-a half. If that.
A few miles in, we did see a
couple trucks-full of fishermen, but they didn’t provide much comfort
that we were near civilization. And they gave us odd looks. The movie
“Deliverance” passed through my mind.
The paved road lost much of its
pavement and became firmly packed dirt. And then we saw a goodly branch
of a tree in the road, so … I got out and moved it aside. I did the
same with the next branch, and even the small birch tree.
By now it wasn’t a side trip,
it was a quest. We don’t get many quests in our life . . .
But then the road grew rutted.
Not just a few tire-track ruts, but the deep, wide ruts that were
evidence that the road became a creek bed on occasion. We stopped the
car, uncertain what to do.
My suggestion was, “Let’s turn
back.” We had no cell service and were miles and miles from people.
Common sense dictated we turn back.
My husband got out of the car
to get a better look. The woods were dense on either side of us and
stretched forever. A tiny stream ran across the road, a poser to what
it obviously could become with the rains or snow melt.
He walked the width of the
road. Twice. I repeated my suggestion that we retreat.
Then he said, “Get in the car.”
“So we’re going back?”
He put his seat belt on
with a loud click, then looked at me with a crazed, determined look in
his eyes. “Hold on.”
put the car in drive and
shot over those ruts. It was a bumpy, scary ride, rivaling any
amusement park attraction. The car lurched left, then right, up, then
down. I prayed God would save us from ourselves.
And then the ruts were over and
the road smoothed. “How did you know how to get through those ruts?” I
“If I went too slow and doubted
we’d make it, I knew the tires would fall into the ruts and we’d never
get out. To get through the rough spots, I had to drive forward with
confidence, not letting the ruts pull us down.”
And there it was. A roadmap to
life. When the road ahead is full of ruts, stop and assess the
situation. If you choose to move ahead, drive forward with confidence.
Don’t let those ruts pull you down. "Let us run with perseverance the
race marked out for us." (Hebrews 12:1)
By the way, after an hour the
road finally spilled out onto a real highway, and we realized it was
not the road on the map, but an unmarked road. A logging road. But an
As are most rough roads that
teach us something.