church of the road trip

Today i went on a road trip. it was amazing. i joined four amazingly beautiful women on a trip to the hunter valley. We tasted wines and cheeses and picnic’d in the rain. We laughed and shared stories, we ran through the rain together – even tho it was wet and cold and inconvenient. Two of us even ran through the flooded forecourt of the cheese place, soaking our shoes through, but making us laugh a lot.

I’ve been on many road trips. With families, with friends, with colleagues, with strangers, and with people i didn’t like at the time. Road trips are widely flavoured. From needing to get places, wanting to enjoy the journey to just wanting to enjoy the company.

Recently I hitch hiked back from Jindy. Up until that point, most of my long distance traveling had either been on buses and trains so i would read or write or do other things, but completely on my own. So i was looking forward to the 9 hour trip because of the amount of reading i would get done. The only reading i did, was when i got bored of just sticking my thumb up on the side of the road. (which got me a lift, a guy saw i was reading and decided i was a raging nerd and therefore harmless)

I was deep in conversation in all three lifts. Sharing life stories and thoughts.

Road trips teach us much. Road trips allow us to grow much. road trips give us intimacy with others – sometimes forced intimacy. Sometimes such intimacy that we physically are shoved up against sweaty pits and stanky butts.

I would love to get other peoples stories from road trips that have been life changing. Or has shown them a different side of others they life with.

One of the greatest and yet most frustrating road trips i’ve ever been was in the beginning of this year. Me and my team has driven to Byron Bay and were heading back via Armidale. (Which is usually a 5 hour drive.) As we went along one of our cars kept over heating. We started driving into the mountains and it got to the extent to which i had to pull both our cars over. On the side of a mountain, that was misty and beginning to rain. It was beautiful. The team piled out and laughed and ate Malteasers and waited till the cars cooled a little. It was definitely not planned but it was gorgeous and peaceful. Later we got out of the mountains and found ourselves on a flat, surrounded by golden farms and a rainbow – overheated again. We pulled over and finished the Malteasers. We took photos of us jumping with rainbows behind us. We laughed some more and changed drivers. We decided then to limp the car into Armidale. We ate peanut butter, chocolate and bananas on bread in a dark park in a random country town – and described a zombie apocalypse, freaking ourselves out. i made the decision to send the good car (86 corolla) to get to our destination as soon as possible, whilst we spend the next 3 hours stopping and starting stopping and starting. Every stop was beautiful or was ripe with amazing conversation. stars in the dark sky. Creepy trees and farms (zombies). We finally arrived at 1am (leaving the car 20 minutes out of town.)

THIS WAS REPEATED. Driving out of town towards newcastle it broke down again – i locked the keys in the car. and then sent everyone home to newie and spent the next 12 hours by myself in the red ’90 corolla. Drivers tan, maccas skype dates, books read, motorbikers and ute drivers asking if i was alright. It was amazing. it grew my patience, it grew my ability to love in midst of frustration.

Road trips are like church- the kingdom of God is a journey. Sometimes our destination is important and sometimes the journey is most important. Sometimes we drive with incredible people who smell like flowers and chocolate. Sometimes we have pit stains from other peoples pits. Sometimes we drive in air conditioned buses with wireless. Other times we need to pack 12 people into an 8 seater 4wd in sweaty hot india.

what road trip are you on at present? – a podcast of a ten minute conversation from the road trip today about road trips.

3 thoughts on “church of the road trip

  1. Fun and inspirational! It’s funny, I went on a road trip with my mom and family a year ago. It was fun in many ways. Even the disagreements were fun or funny after the fact. We refer to different moments all the time and laugh. I thought of writing about but never did. Your piece has inspired me to do so. Thanks for sharing!

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