Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The countdown begins

Two weeks from this Friday, I'll be flying to Michigan for the birth of my fourth grandson and an extended visit with my sister and her husband. I've already begun writing lists of things to do before I leave (finish a couple of assignments, doublecheck my prescriptions), clothes to pack (September in Michigan will, thankfully, be cooler than September in Mississippi), and which toiletries I absolutely MUST bring with me and those that can be bought once I arrive. By the time my plane leaves on Friday, August 31st, I should be in good shape. It might take until three seconds before take-off, but I'll accomplish everything I need to do to make this a successful trip.

Too bad I can't say the same about my final trip. Although I putter around making plans, deciding again and again and again that I need to give more to the church, send donations to worthy charities and start being the Christian I profess (and really want) to be, far too often I fall short of my good intentions. Because I have no itinerary for this final trip--no schedule to let me know how much longer I have until I leave, no estimated time of arrival or flight numbers to commit to memory--I must make plans as if I'm going to leave moments from now. And who knows? I just might.

There is a travel guide available to me, however. It might not tell me just when I'm leaving on this trip, but it DOES tell me what I can do to make sure I'm properly prepared for my final destination. It's my Bible and even though I read it every night, if I don't pay attention to what I'm reading, I'm as clueless as I would be if I forgot to print off my flight itinerary and found myself wandering around the airport asking uniformed attendants, "Which way to Lansing, Michigan?" Because I never know when I'm going to take off on this final journey, it behooves me to start paying closer attention to my guidebook. If I have questions, I can always ask God, or His Son, or the Holy Spirit. They're always ready and willing to listen to a lost traveler, to give precise, heartfelt directions. Unlike the airlines, They're foolproof, They never lie, and They'll be there to meet me at the gate.

And maybe best of all, there'll be no need to make those pesky return trip reservations. My final journey will be one-way.

Until the next time...

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