Where are You Going?
Last weekend some friends gave us free tickets to the Atlanta RV show. Hundreds of them were on display. There are travel trailers of all shapes and sizes, fancy conversion vans, 5th wheel mobile apartments, and semi-trailer sized palaces on wheels. The intoxicating, new-car-like smell of fresh glue, vinyl, and clean fabrics can cause you to make a bad decision on a purchase. One doesn’t think clearly when you see the amazing camping comfort you can have for just 5% down and payments forever.
The RV show reminded me of when Leigh and I thought about taking a year off and hitting the road in an RV. Yes, we wanted to renovate a RV, home-school our children, and see what adventures lay out there for us. We were serious about it. We started home-schooling for a semester and laid out a realistic budget for the journey. We met a few “full-timers” and even hosted a popular podcaster in our driveway for a weekend. Turns out that living on the road is pretty expensive, if you want health insurance and to eat well. We realized the RV lifestyle is not as glamorous as we thought and eventually tabled the idea.
God is not without a sense of humor. There was a booth at the show featuring the “RV nomads”, a United Methodist mission group. The Nomads live in RV’s and travel around the US helping communities in a variety of ways. I wasn’t sure if it was God or the devil tapping me on the shoulder to remind me of our dreams of sabbatical year.
I’m glad that the Holy Spirit led us away from hitting the road in an RV. There was something better in store for us as a family. We were appointed to a church in the beautiful Northeast Georgia mountains and enjoyed 4½ years of lake life and all hiking and camping I could handle. It was nice to have a warm house and shower to come home, too. I didn’t understand it at the time, but Jesus accommodated our wanderlust and the calling to serve a church by luring us away from the RV lifestyle.
I pray that if you are considering selling it all and hitting the road or just wanting to start a new spiritual discipline, that you spend time in careful, prayerful discernment. Lent, which starts this coming Wednesday, February 14th is a great time to contemplate your spiritual, family, career, and life goals. The 40-day season of Lent encourages us to simplify our lives and be intentional with our spirituality. Whatever changes you may be facing, do what the old hymn says, “take it to the Lord in prayer” this season of Lent.