One of my favorite lines from the first Indiana Jones movie is from a scene where the heroine says to Jones, "You're not the man I knew ten years ago." Jones replies, "It's not the years it's the milage." I certainly feel that now and again but yesterday really brought it home for me. I have always considered myself as macho as the next guy and through my college days and beyond I pretended that I was the great outdoors type. I don't think I really fooled anyone but myself but I had fun doing it none the less. Yesterday should have been a great day. I got up, met with the national team, Frodo, Sam, and Merry, and jumped in the Toyota Hilux to head out to the wild wilderness of central Gondor. We drove a few hours on poor roads then left the road to cross a river. After navigating our way through the river- there were no roads, bridges, or marked paths- we went up a mountain. We kept going up and up driving over donkey trails and no trails at all. Then we went down and down into a valley that was not accessible by vehicle unless driven by someone as nuts as we were. Like I said, this should have been great. But I spent the whole time wishing it were over. I dreaded the river crossing. I know the sinking feeling of taking a truck across a ford in the river and not being able to come out on the other side. Yesterday as we drove into the river I just knew that instead of going in a little ways and finding a firm rock bottom we would just keep going down into the water. We didn't- we made it just fine. As we climbed the steep mountain I just knew that we would role the truck, that we would bog down in a muddy patch, that we would get penned in and have to back out down a cliff edge. None of that happened. It was a nice day, a fun day, but I did not enjoy it. At forty five I don't think I am that old so as Jones says, 'It's not the years it's the milage.
But to make a point out of all this I will tell you one more thing. Every single time I have gone out and gotten stuck, broke down, stuck behind a landslide, or just in the wrong place at the wrong time the King gives me an opportunity to share my faith in Jesus with someone who has never ever had any access to the blessed good news. Every time. I was talking about this with a friend of mine this morning who does not have a dependable car and is thinking about buying a new one. He said, "So, in light of this we ought to buy less dependable cars?" I said, "Yeah, If I had your car Gondor would be won to the Lord by now!" I am quite sure that that is a good example of my constant use of hyperbole but the point is still clear to me. I may ford the river or I may not but God always has a plan for my day and it is usually a pretty darn good plan. I should not be fearful and I should not be upset when things go wrong, on the contrary I should always look up and say, "What's next Lord?" If we quiet our whinning and wait for a moment there is usuall a good answer. Yesterday a family whom we stopped and had soup with heard a lot of good truth about a very good God for the first time. It is worth the hard road to see the Kingdom go forth. Work while it is day for the night is coming when we might be broken down in the middle of nowhere- and then we should keep on working.