Monday, May 05, 2008

Travel Time

Praise God for travel time.

Imagine spending five hours in a car and having - at least relationally - the most productive day in a good, long while. It seems counterintuitive, but today's trip to Augusta and back gave me the opportunity for unfettered conversation that I often don't get during the week.

A sidetracked life sometimes makes me forget the value of simple and engaging conversation with the ones I love. This is partly a cultural problem: I think the overall design of American life is terribly efficient at keeping us from connecting in true community. Homes get larger, and families get smaller. Commute times get longer, and conversations get shorter. We're busy expanding our sphere of influence while neglecting our inner circle.

But days like today help me reign in my radius and get re-centered. The two hours there was like a retreat for my wife and me, and the two hours back (wife absent), were spent on a God-filled conversation with an old friend. The time in between was spent with the in-laws. I know the old cliche about the painfully awkward route those conversations stereotypically take, but ours are usually very authentic and packed with memorable content. Today was no exception.

The lesson? Be more engaged so these moments don't only come around when boredom forces them. And at the same time, when I fail to engage, I should grasp hold of the gracious lifeline a day like today proves to be for my relationships.

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