Know where you're going to know your purpose

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Road trips will never be the same. Arguably they've changed for the better. If you can get past the gas prices that want an arm for regular, a leg for super and your first-born for premium, road trips are a fundamental American rite of passage.

Thanks to satellites and digital music, radio dead zones are now nonexistent. Backseat DVD players now answer the question "when will we get there" in terms of movie time, not miles. Best of all there's no need to argue about the impossible tasks of folding the map back like it came when the British-voiced GPS gives clear directions in the most proper English. Yet no matter how great technology gets, there will be one constant about summer road trips; you need to know where you want to go.

I have an uncle who loaded up my grandmother and aunt for a road trip from St. Louis to Louisville, Ky. He was continuously questioned: "Do you know where you're going? Do you know how to get there?"

Each time he answered "yes" and was getting quite perturbed with the line of questioning.

Before dawn, they set off with my uncle at the wheel with the passengers snoozing away. Hours into road tip my aunt awoke wiping the sleep from her eyes just in time to read "Welcome to Oklahoma."

You need to know where you're going to figure out why you are here.

The people of Jerusalem had just spent the last 52 days doing what the surrounding communities said was impossible rebuilding a wall out of the rubble. Now that this tremendous feat has been accomplished the focus turns from rebuilding to reorienting. Among the tremendous construction came a subtle revelation. The people had lost sight of why they were there. They no longer knew what it meant to be God's people. They needed a map.

The people gathered together and Ezra the priest read from the book of Moses. The stories and law found in the Torah, the first five books of the Old Testament, captured their ears showed more about who they were than they ever knew.

The Lord has laid out a road map for his people. He has revealed to all who will take up and read or listen on the iPod who he is and what it means to be in a relationship with him. Bring out the map.

Rob Hurtgen is a husband, father, minister and writer. Read more from him at

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