On Saturday, November 2nd, at 6:58PM our minivan’s odometer struck 100,000 miles. We were a block away from the house, on our way to a local eatery when it happened. In all truth, this anticipated occurrence was somewhat anticlimactic; having a digital odometer with six digits, we were unable to see the gears turn over to register 5 zeroes like the vehicles of my childhood and watched a group of nines change, somewhat similar to a digital clock striking midnight on New Year’s Eve. The numbers on the odometer have brought back to my mind many of those miles we, as a family, have traveled over the past 6 ½ years.
One hundred thousand miles means that we’ve made hundreds of trips to grocery stores and workplaces. Many of the miles were traveling up and down the eastern corridor of I-95 to visit loved ones in Maryland and D.C, not to mention trips to see friends and family in Pennsylvania, Tennessee and New Hampshire. How many cups of coffee and orders of fries have we eaten seated in the van? Some of these miles were traveled offering rides to others and transporting stuff around the South Shore. The van has made quite a few jaunts to the airport to joyfully welcome those who are arriving and to colleges to drop off (with tears) those who are departing. Upon reflection of both the spectacular and the mundane, both the sicknesses and the singing that occurred in our van, it has been a wonderful ride.
The steps of a man are established by the Lord, and He delights in his way. Psalm 37:23 (NASB95)
In light of this verse, I wonder what David would think about the last 100,000 of minivan has traveled. If Psalm 37 was written today, as opposed to 3,000 years ago, would he be inspired to write something like, “The miles of the family vehicle are established, or made firm, by God”? And if the words of God might be contextualized in this fashion, what might it mean for us? Is it possible that those 100,000 miles in our Dodge Grand Caravan were ordered and set up by God so that we may delight in his way? Is every one of the 528,000,000 feet we’ve journeyed over the last 78 months in the family car funded in God?
There is a memory my family has relating to our van that makes me think that God was instrumental in all those miles. We were driving through downtown Memphis after a rehearsal dinner. We were heading back to our hotel and took a wrong turn. Adjusting our course, we waited at a red light, the only car in the intersection, when a homeless woman hurriedly crossed four lanes of traffic to knock on my window. After I assisted her, my family joked about the aura of compassion I must radiate. I think God placed us there. I think that God has placed us in a great many places.
God was with us at all those rest areas stops, gas pumps and, yes, traffic lights. He was with us through all the conversations we had within and outside our reliable transportation. And I have no doubt he will be with us through the next 100,000 miles.