Much of my last month has been spent in a car driving to and from the Pacific coast. Being as such, my thoughts may not be completely coherent, but collectively, they have shown me some things I probably would not have experienced had I sat on my couch.
For the first time in two years, I actually took time off of work. Every other trip, I have brought my computer and maintained near to the same level of work that I have at home. Sometimes that was necessary, but the past couple of weeks have shown me the importance of breaking our routine. Often, we get so caught in our routine that we miss out on what is in front of us. Work is important, and having excellence in our calling is of great importance. But giving dedicated time to our kids, families and friends, or giving our minds and souls a break is of great importance as well.
This change in routine can help us to focus on the important things in life. But at the same time, a break in routine can also cause us to break the good routines we have in our lives. I found that while I was spending more time with my kids, I wasn’t spending as much time with God—talking to him, spending as much time in His word. But the amazing thing is that while the past couple of weeks have been filled with visiting family members and friends, seeing natural wonders of the world, walking on the beach, eating amazing food and so many other relaxing moments, my heart was missing something. If we could be totally satisfied by the things of this life, the past two weeks offered everything that would bring fulfillment. Yet they didn’t.
But when our souls long for God, that is a gift of God. I thank God that along with the psalmist, I can say, “My soul yearns and pines for the courts of the LORD. My heart and flesh cry out for the living God (Psalm 84:2).” I need to do better, but I thank God that He holds me in His hands and doesn’t let me go.
As we drove along the various highways across this country, I was blown away by the beauty of what God has made. Our country holds just a small portion of the beauty on this planet, but getting to see it in person is quite incredible. We started in Colorado, driving up to Pike’s Peak, one of the “Fourteeners” in Colorado. While Colorado does not have the highest mountain in the world, it has the most mountains over fourteen thousand feet in this country. No matter where you look, the “Mountains and hills shall break out in song before you, and all the trees of the countryside shall clap their hands. (Isaiah 55:12).”
We headed through Utah next and saw the lines in rocks created millions of years ago, some laying parallel to the terrain, and others laying at various angles, but still carrying the same lines as the rocks around them. It was in Utah that we first ran across the Colorado River (although it obviously starts in Colorado), as it wove its way alongside the highway and through the stacked rocks of Utah. As we headed to Arizona, I could no longer see the Colorado River, but instead saw the effects of the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. Over 6 million years, that same river carved one of the largest canyons in the world. I could not see the river from the top, and did not want to attempt to bring four children between 12 and five into a canyon a mile deep. But it still runs through this Canyon, whether I could see it or not.
After visiting San Diego for a week, we began our drive back east, and along the California and Arizona border, just north of the border of Mexico, I saw a large river winding through the desert we were driving through. And along the banks of the river, bright green grass and other plants were a sharp contrast with the yellow, sandy landscape sporting nothing but cacti. And I think you probably guessed it—that river is the Colorado River. Much like God, even when I couldn’t see it, it was still there, giving life in a dry land.
As Psalm 42:2-3 says, “As the deer longs for streams of water, so my soul longs for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, the living God. When can I enter and see the face of God?” Whether we find that longing in our home or out on the road, may we find our satisfaction in God, knowing that without him we are a dull and barren land. But with His life flowing through us, we can be a life giving force to those around us, fulfilling our calling as His children in a world that needs to see the love and life of a caring God.
Kasey Jordan is a former missionary and lives in Monticello