So as I sit to type this, I have been in my car for 12 hours.
That's a lot of drive time. Even for me.
Getting to my parents house in Exeter (via what was meant to be 'lunch' at my Nan's new-ish house) is taking just a little longer than expected.
Because you know, leaving the Highlands was disrupted by a fair amount of snow.
So much snow in fact, that the Drumocter Pass was ironically unpassable, and we all got turned around on the duel carriageway and sent to detour down through Dalwhinnie and via the Roy Bridge road to Fort William. If you're not from the Highlands and have no idea where these places are, Google them and gain a full appreciation… Because this was some detour. It ended up taking about 4 hours to do a journey that I can do in 1 on a good day. And remember, I drive a 4×4. With snow tyres.
This was the view on the 'clear' road we were diverted to.
Yep. Fun 😉
So, let's recap. My parents (bless their wonderful hearts), and my wee Beagle Solomon (yes, he gets a mention too) drove the epic trip from Exeter up to Inverness on Friday night with a van ready prepared to help move some of my belongings. So, we loaded up on Saturday and then set off in convoy at 6am this morning. One van. Pretty full. My little Rav. Equipped with one crazy dog.
The snow was the first hold up. Then the detour. Then the traffic around Glasgow. Then getting to my Nan's house. Which for some reason, I genuinely thought was quite near her old house in Sheffield. Turns out it's actually closer to Leeds. Interesting. (Ok. My English geography is still not as good as it should be ;))
So I am now sitting in Keithly, 4 hours later than I had hoped, with the looming knowledge that there's still another 5 hours driving required to get me to my bed in Exeter.
I am SO thankful for a great playlist (music really does make my road-trip mentality more fun!), some journeying laughs (my Mum tried to dance along to Lecrae in my car to keep me awake. Genius!), and the promise that a massive pizza is going to be placed in front of me any moment now.
I'm honestly way too tired to blog anything profound tonight, and I feel I should be reserving some kind of mental energy for the stamina required to reach the South West.
So this will be short. And sweet. Hopefully.
This morning, in the ferocious snow, we got the rare-opportunity to drive the wrong way down the duel carriageway. The road was shut before and behind, and the Police instructed those of us with 4x4s or snow chains (both of our vehicles!) to just head back on down the way we had come… But it was the weirdest experience.
I mean, other than that one time I accidentally drove the wrong way down a one way street (oops), I tend to not go in the opposing direction of the general traffic laws.
But it was quite fun. To turn around and go back to the right place in the road, passing a fair few cars who were not equipped to do so. I have never been so thankful for a car that can handle the snow pretty easily.
Being instructed to do a u-turn in a vehicle equipped to make the journey.
That's what it was.
So, my simple tired single thought right now, is that repentance is a bit like this.
Doing a total u-turn away from the things and the sin and the idols that are keeping us from God, in order to get back on the route that He really desires for us. But here's the point. He always equips us for the journey. Always. With a spiritual 4×4. And He calls us to go that way for our good. Because intimacy with Him is the great prize.
I sometimes think we fall into thinking about repentance so negatively, as having to give up the things we like in order to keep rules we kind of don't.
But that's not it. Not at all. Repentance is totally turning from the lesser things that keep us from God and intimacy and His Great things, in order to press into the perfect joy and perfect peace that comes through pursuing Him and is on offer. Because that's the grace to live for Him. And He equips. He forgives. He calls us forward. He cheers us on.
And journeying with God… Is way more exciting and energising than my seemingly-unending-road-trip.
Bring on the pizza 🙂