We had a great visit with the "kids." After a tour of their home, some lunch, and a few "ahs" of delight over the new baby furniture, they took us on a little excursion which consisted of a trip to the top of Kennesaw Mountain, a visit to their church where she works, and a stop at their favorite coffee shop, The Daily Grind.
By then, it was time to hit the road again heading northeast -- in Atlanta on a Friday at 4:00. Not smart. But I called my cousin and she gave me some "easier" directions than what my GPS was instructing -- ones that would keep me off the REALLY busy highways. I followed them precisely and delivered mom and dad to cousin Billy's front door. [One thing that helped to make this portion of the trip more palatable was my new smart phone. Just the day before, I had downloaded Pandora radio and was able to tune in to Glenn Miller radio. Mom knew every song!]
We had a grand time with Billy and Michele in their beautiful home. Not to mention a great place for the grandchildren, Billy also has quite the man cave -- complete with a HUGE screen TV and a pool table. Gracing the walls are pictures and plaques of Billy's wrestling career that his wife Michele insists be displayed -- much to Billy's opposition. I especially enjoyed seeing the pictures of him when he wrestled for GA Tech back in the 60's. More recently, there's a plaque recognizing his induction into the National Wrestlers Hall of Fame. But you won't find a more gentle, humble and Godly man on earth. That's why he's my "FC" (favorite cousin).
After a lot of great eating due to Michele's talents, a relaxing evening with dear family, and a good night's sleep to top it all off, Mom and Dad and I headed south -- but not before setting the GPS to 77 West Paces Ferry Road. But this time, I had absolutely no clue as how to get from point A to point B, and if ever I was dependent upon my navigational device, it was then. Completely dependent. At one point, a red truck pulled in front of us which blocked my view of everything but his tailgate. My daddy made the comment, "That's bad. Now you can't see where you are going." Truth is, though I didn't tell him, it really didn't matter, because I didn't know where I was going. I knew the destination point, but how to get there? It was only by listening to that voice instructing me where and when to turn that I pulled into the parking lot of Whole Foods. And the way I was praising Jesus, one would have thought I'd just entered the gates of heaven itself.
It was Mom and Dad's first trip to Whole Foods, one I thought was important for them to experience -- for more reasons than one. And I was right. They loved it. Mom more the food; Dad the people. We weren't in Kansas anymore, for sure. We even had lunch there! (I do regret not getting pictures.) But before heading home, I set my GPS one more time and headed to Fort McPherson, the place where my dad spent his first year in the army before being shipped out to Japan during the Korean War. This time the trip was a little more taxing. Traffic kept us backed up for a good 30 minutes as we attempted to exit onto the ramp, and then when we got to the destination, we found the gate had been blockaded and we could find no other entry. And so I did what no male but every female would do, I stopped a gentleman walking home from the grocery store and asked him for help. He sent me back the way I came, and said, "You're only two minutes from there."
After a few minutes of sitting inside the gates of the fort with Dad reminiscing a little bit -- after all, it has been almost 60 years since his dad and my mom dropped him off at those gates ...
I've thought several times since then how that little road trip parallels life's journey. On some portions of the stretch, I know exactly where I'm going; no road map is really needed. It's almost as if God lets me see what's ahead. At other times, I need a little help along the way -- someone to counsel and guide me. Another to point me in the right direction. But on the particular leg I find myself these days, it's more like that stretch of GA 400. I can't see what's ahead. All I can do is listen to the Voice that says, "This is the way; walk ye in it." And then trust.
As I was up in the guest bedroom getting ready to come home Saturday morning, a Michael Card song came on the radio and I quickly committed the chorus to memory. As we were traveling down 400, I asked my dad to jot down the words for me because they suddenly became very real.
To hear with my heart
To see with my soul
To be guided by a hand I cannot hold
To trust in a way that I cannot see
That's what faith must be
Just an ordinary moment...