I was the first one awake and moving. To be able to sit in a house quiet but for the rain falling outside was peaceful and the perfect way to start the day. I was finishing my second cup of coffee by the time the others began to stir. One of the first was Michael who was wanting a cigarette but the rain outside, had a bit of sleet mixed in. He even watched a truck drive by scraping the road. When my son came downstairs he was hungry and made it no secret. He even went so far as to pull out a pan for scrambling some eggs but before I could begin, another of our party came down and took over cooking everything but the grits my son wanted. I had not cooked grits on the stove in a long while as its easier to simply prepare them in the microwave. This time though, stove it was. I was concerned as you have to watch them more to prevent sticking but they turned out perfectly.
After breakfast I began the fun act of packing. If my son is going to keep this going to camp at races thing up, I’m going to need a larger bag. I managed to get nearly everything packed away and the bags closed. We carried everything out to the car and made ready to head for home. Me being me, I had to check the room over at least twice to make sure I didn’t miss or forget anything. We finally said our good-byes and headed for home.
My son took the dirt road we had came in on so I could get a photo of the small waterfall that was near the halfway point. We discovered there was actually room enough to pull off the road beside the falls. It was very cool that morning so I hurried so we could get back in his car that warms quickly and be on our way.
As we drove I was a little sad that we didn’t have more time. I would love to do some hiking along that bike trail, maybe some day. Once we reached the main road travel was much easier and quicker. My son stopped once to purchase a soda for him and a cup of coffee for me. I had asked him if we could stop along the way so I could get a photo of the mountain range. We did, it wasn’t the scene I really wanted, but I wasn’t arguing, I took a few shots and put the camera safely away. In the process I found that bag of pretzels I had purchased. I then munched on pretzels and coffee most of the way home.
As we drew closer to home after an uneventful drive, my son asked which way I wanted to finish the trip. I told him he was driving, I was just along for the ride. As we made our way through one of the final intersections I told my son I ought to call his grandparents and tell him we were on our way and let them believe we were just leaving. He told me I should, so I did. Less than five minutes later we were pulling in the driveway. When I called my mother she was only mildly confused. So that wasn’t as much fun as I hoped, but we were home and that was good.
As Christians we realize that this place and time isn’t our home. We are sojourners making our way to our true home. An eternity in Heaven with our Lord and Savior. As we travel, we will have adventures, we will spend time with others, we will stop from time to time to take a few photographs. We will have those moments when we are the only one awake and enjoy that quiet time. There will also be struggles, times we are ill, times we are cold or tired or hungry, alone or afraid. This life, this journey, isn’t meant to be easy. It is meant to be a learning exercise. We learn so we can assist. We struggle to grow strength. We experience so we understand and can empathize with others as they experience. We travel as we live, seeing the landmarks along the way showing us where we are in the journey. When we arrive to the point we are near the journeys end, we can smile, we can anticipate that final road home. Then, when we arrive at the gate, stepping into what is truly our home, welcomed by those who have gone before, welcomed by Jesus the Christ, we can smile with a peace like none other. We are home.