Friday, May 13, 2011

Journey's "End" or Another "New" Beginning?

291 miles stand between us at Haines Junction and our intended destination of Tok, Alaska.  After all the miles we'd gone, it didn't seem like all that much to worry about.  However, it was in what we faced that day that would bring into focus all the things that had given us the shivers when we first considered what it would take to get us to Alaska.  We were about to redefine the meaning of "bad roads" and hazardous driving conditions.  We were also about to learn a very valuable lesson about life in general - a lesson that I hope we can apply to all of our "todays".  

We woke up in Haines Junction to snow and the dregs of winter that had not yet fully passed in this far northern land.  Our original plan was to spend the night as close to the border as we dared to drive in these conditions.  That plan eventually fell by the wayside as we entered into an even "wilder"-ness than we had ever seen before.  It seemed there was nothing but road, trees, mountains and us.  Our initial start was with a hint of trepidation as the snow fluctuated between flurries and "furies".  The road ahead of us was the focus of all of our attention as we strained to see what lay ahead. 

Sometimes the view wasn't too encouraging!
We don't talk about much as we focus all of our energy on what's in front of us.  The road offers little to consider beyond moving forward and thoughts of all the things that might go wrong are pushed far to the back of our minds.  Survival has moved far beyond our limited experience in such conditions and our trust in HIM becomes paramount to maintaining an internal peace.  To say that we're a bit intimidated at this point is clearly an understatement.  

We passed Destruction Bay and missed a reasonable chance to top off the gas tank there.  Taking the warning sign about this being the last stop for the next 108 miles at Burwash Landing seriously, we decided to stop at a little station there.  Big mistake!  It took a very long time just to get the gas pump working at this little roadside stop and the quarter of tank of gas we bought there cost us nearly $50.  Take this as a warning and stop in Destruction Bay to top off your gas tank!  From there you'll have enough to make the border.  

While waiting for the gas pump to be repaired, these little critters drove Ariela nearly mad with their little chirps and chitters.  She would have loved to get out and have a run with them!  Unfortunately, there was no time for such a romp and she had to leave them to their own play.

The road was about to get very interesting and life was about to take on a whole new perspective.  All those warnings about bad pavement, no pavement, frost heaves and frost "ho"les were about to turn this leg of our journey into something else.  Tires, shocks, struts, and air lift systems as well as, comfy bucket seats, cushions and all the other amenities we love in our nice vehicles would be brought down closer to the level of riding on a buckboard wagon than most of us have ever experienced.  It was time to "SLOW IT DOWN"!

Now DannyLee is a pretty safe driver and he prides himself on his efforts to maintain his fuel efficiency while minimizing the wear and tear on our rig.  However, his driving habits are also influenced by his many years of driving taxis in the Denver and Phoenix areas.  Oftentimes, he's driving with his eye on the far horizon while what's directly in front of him has a lesser interest.  Frost heave/"ho"les don't lend themselves to this kind of driving technique.  He was about to learn some valuable lessons about "living in the moment".  

Herein lies the message that we've been struggling with concerning our faith in our Heavenly FATHER.  As we went through Monte Judah's study on the Book of John, one of the challenges that we accepted was to grow in our "right now" faith.  As we see in the Book of John, Yeshua is constantly challenging the people around HIM as to what do they really believe and is their belief in the here and now.  

Many people declare belief in what HE has done and are willing to confess belief on what HE will do, but rarely does anyone make a commitment to believing that HE can and will do something for them today.  HIS talmidin and friends fall into this trap of looking back or looking ahead while missing what HE is able to do while standing right there in front of them.  We found this message to be very relevant to us and have resolved to deal with this directly in our own lives.  

When YHVH reveals HIMSELF to Moses, HE reveals HIS Name as YHVH which loosely translates into "I AM".  HIS Name is not "I was" or "I will be" and with that understanding, it's my belief that to truly be in HIS Presence, we must learn to live "in the moment" or "in the now" of life.  Our busy lives filled with constant hustle and bustle leave us little time to truly enter into the moment.  We struggle with wondering how we can even try.  

The "lights" actually went on as we entered the last 100 miles before the Alaskan border.  While DannyLee was trying to maintain his speed on the ups and downs of the road, his focus caused him to go way too fast over some bone rattling bumps and threatened to tear the very wheels off of our truck and RV.  He kept trying to explain to me that he needed to keep the speed up to make it up the hill that lay on the other side of this unpaved area that we were struggling to drive through.  I kept trying to explain that his efforts to keep the speed up were about to fall prey to broken shocks and springs and if he didn't slow down, I was going to keep on explaining in an even louder voice.  Things weren't looking real good at that point.  

After several spine jarring jolts and frightening complaints from the fifth wheel hitch and frame, he finally realized that he had to slow down and deal with the here and now and let what's in front of him come at it's own time.  That realization was a BIG step in the right direction!  We found that while we were still moving forward, albeit at a much slower pace, we were still making progress towards our destination.  We finally knew the "secret" of "living in the moment" and it was simple ----  SLOW DOWN!

While that may not seem to be all that exciting as a revelation, it seems to be a lesson that we need to be reminded of a lot more often.  It's far too easy to race through our days looking ahead or to get bogged down in the mistakes of the past and totally miss what HE's doing in our lives today.  Let's hope we can carry this lesson with us into the days that lie ahead!

We made it!

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