What do you do when you're eighteen and crazy about a girl who lives 655 miles away?
First, you talk your Volvo-owning friend into taking a road trip. Then you sell your X Box and your big screen TV (the one you just traded tires and rims for) to another friend for $400. Then you toss a hastily packed bag in the back of the Volvo, ask your parents to pray for you, and hit the road.
I prayed. I asked God to put a giant bubble around my son and send some road-trip angels along for the ride. And I asked that the girl I've never met would receive him kindly.
Zac called me a few minutes ago. "How's it going?" I asked. Those few words were a far cry from what I most wanted to ask. Are you tired? Have you slept yet? Are you guys keeping your eyes on the road? Any sign of angels?
"Well," he began, "it's been rough so far." He then launched into a play-by-play. "We come around a corner early this morning and find a deer carcass strewn all over the road."
"Did you hit it?"
"Just a piece. Then we run into a blizzard ... in California!" Clearly, he holds little memory of the unit study we did on the Donner Party back when he was a homeschooled seventh grader.
"To make matters worse, Theron's right turn signal won't go off, his windshield wiper is stuck in one speed, and his electrical system is going haywire."
I should be alarmed, but I can't find it in me. Instead, what I'm thinking is that Zac will describe this adventure to his children one day.
"We're so hungry, Mom. And we agreed we were only going to eat off the dollar menu. But then we got to talking about how good Subway would be, so we decided to treat ourselves. We're hungry now ... but it's only 8:30--Subway won't be open." He sighs.
"You'll find something soon, honey."
He tells me again to pray. I tell him I haven't stopped. We swap "I love you's." And when I hang up, I think about the girl in Sacramento who has no idea of what my son has sacrificed for her. She doesn't know he's coming. I wonder what she'll think when he knocks on her door, and wonder what he'll find her doing.
And then I think how familiar this all is.
Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field ..."
Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect."
~ Matthew 13:44; Luke 12:40