As I type this Maggie and I are sitting in a La Quinta Hotel in little Monroe, LA. I stayed at this hotel before on one of my trips between Dallas and Harrisburg last year. It's a little after 6am so it's time to get the day going.
This trip has been one of those things that embodies "Go with the Flow". I had originally planned to leave on Friday after work but a couple of issues cropped up that delayed the departure until yesterday morning. We drove 825 miles yesterday, and have two similar days ahead of us.
We'll be arriving in Dallas today and I'm looking forward to seeing mom. If things had gone according to plan I'd be typing this from her house and not this hotel, but she seemed to take the change in plan in stride. Regardless, we'll be there by this afternoon.
Maggie has been a wonderful travel companion. She's really great on long road trips and actually seems to enjoy them. The days leading up to leaving, though, seemed to concern her. I don't doubt it. She's seen me prepare to travel before where either she didn't get to go, or something else that she didn't like happened. Once we got going she got right into the groove and as I type this she's happy and looking up at me.
I try to stay at La Quinta's when I travel with pup. They've got the best dog policy and although the quality varies they're typically clean and quiet and comfortable. This particular one is very nice and I like the fact that it's one of the kinds where the doors face the parking lot so you can just drive up to your room. I've got a bike strapped to the back of the car and it was convenient to take it off and roll it in without having to go through a lobby, down a hall, or any of that other hassle.
When you're alone in a car for hours on end you've got lots of time to think. As I've gone over recent events I noted that I've had two people in my life over the last few weeks use the term "God's Will" to me. I find it interesting that anyone would presume to know what that is, but yet people want to use it to explain or excuse their own actions or inactions. Regardless...
I'm no theologian, but my spiritual sense is as healthy as it has ever been. I have always envisioned myself as an active participant in my life. That is, that I've been given this chance to live my life and the tools to build something and that it's more than my responsibility - it's my obligation - to make the most of it. I own that, and although I continually thank the Higher Powers for their gifts and their guidance that's all I ask for. I'll do the work to make my life whatever it becomes.
I'm standing on the front edge of some significant things in my world and I'm not afraid. My head and my heart work together to guide me and I've got total trust in how I'm feeling. Eventual outcomes in life are never guaranteed but so long as you go into them with a sense of purpose you'll be fine. I've got a very healthy, strong "Will" myself.
The thing that bothers me with that phrase, I think, is the context in which people seem to use it. It seems more like an excuse, or some kind of "not my fault" if things don't work out thing. And while I appreciate that each of us contemplates our Faith in our own way I just don't buy that.
I recognize God's involvement in bigger things: if I die in my sleep tonight, or if I get hit by lightning, or if I encounter some other "Act of God" like thing. Ultimately, I believe that people must be responsible for their own actions so to define the course of their lives so to justify what happens (or doesn't) as being forced upon them by some larger power is a cop-out. Own it. I'm just saying...
So, whether or not we arrive safely to our destination or not may be part of some larger plan. But whether or not we get out of here by 8:30 is more up to me than God's Will. And, we will...
They just had a story on CNN about some woman who is selling her prized possession - a potato with markings that she says resemble Jesus - on eBay. Oy. Somehow I think the most divine thing about the potato is that it exists at all. The markings, methinks, are happenstance....
Well, the next thing that gonna happen is that I'm going to take a shower. Keep your fingers crossed for another good day on the road. If all goes well we'll be in Texas tonight.
Time to get the car packed back up and on the road. We've got a long way to go today. :)