A Conversation During a Long Journey

For the Lord your God has blessed you in all that you have done; He has known your wanderings through this great wilderness. These forty years the Lord your God has been with you; you have not lacked a thing.”’ — Deuteronomy 2:7

There’s a city in my mind
Come along and take that ride
And it’s alright, baby, it’s all right
And it’s very far away
But it’s growing day by day and it’s all right
Baby, it’s all right, yeah….
Road To Nowhere”-Talking Heads

It turns out I haven’t told my wife everything about memories of my life prior to meeting her.

Forty-four years is a long time to have spent together and not have everything about your spouse pop into your head.

On what turned out to be an extended ride to see a sunflower patch deep in west central Missouri, I started describing a much younger me driving on long-past road trips, with long-ago lady friends, including a person  in college on whom I had a huge crush, but who wanted nothing to do with me. Thus, my “pretend girlfriend” would fade into the abyss, yet there were miles to go. “You must have had some interesting discussions,” my wife observed. “Nothing that deep..just the topics that would not be upsetting or, actually, derail my dream”.

There were plenty of truly solitary road trips, too. Having worked in towns with an interstate entrance and exit literally up the street allowed that. There is a section of state highway that remains a favorite is Illinois 29, running through Peoria and, in my road trip memory, to I-180, which I have described in a previous posting. The road runs close to the Illinois River, with long stretches of open prairie. While paying attention to one’s driving, there is time to look to the side, and see God’s handiwork in place.

Two other solitary sites early on for me included Eagle Point Park and the Julian Dubuque Monument in Dubuque, Iowa. I spent many solitary hours, especially at the park, watching the progress of the Mississippi River as it flowed south. But, rarely did I have anyone with me. Who would want to hear my “inner Mike” and my dreams and hopes and, yes, many disappointments?

It took a special spot at a special time with a special person to accomplish that. I didn’t have to pretend. God was guiding me in that part of my journey. He knew my “wanderings” through the “great wilderness” of personal growth and faith. He let me learn about myself first, with all my doubts, so I could know what love was, and is. And, the rest of the road awaits us.

Michael Throop