My Dad was a traveling salesman. There might be a joke in there somewhere, but his form of employment isn’t it. I’ve been a salesman most of my life, but I work on the phone, not on the road, still I’ve had hours behind the wheel like we all have, and since his passing I’ve spent some of those hours brooding about what it must’ve been like for him to make a living driving the country in a bucket seat Mustang without air conditioning.
I look at my hands on the wheel, white knuckling through a hailstorm on the Pacific Coast Highway, and wonder if there’s a family resemblance. I’m not one to speak to, or for the dead, but I stretch my imagination sometimes to try and tune into the mutterings and musings of so many fathers on the road.
“Long as I got my plastic Jesus” was one of the first songs I ever heard that suggested faith being part of life on the highways and byways. I don’t remember how it went exactly and I’m guessing there may have been a bit of sarcasm involved, but what if the toll of the road was a real encounter with Jesus, a conversation with the Living Son of the Creator of the Universe riding shotgun with his elbow out the window.
Some folks display vanity plates that proclaim ”God is my co-pilot” or the rebuttal that says, ”If God is your co-pilot, switch seats.” But what about the hard driving deal maker, or the caught in a rut with a traveling cup of caffeine commuter? Can guys like us get some quality soul searching and mind renewal without landing in a ditch or daydreaming our way into a bumper banger?
Zefron Embalist Jr can read the Bible to you, and Joyce Meyer and a million other preachers can fill your over the visor carrier with admonishing and admirable CD’s aplenty, but quiet time that links mind, body and soul with Christ without tripping the hazard lights is a lane I want to roll in. I want join the disciples who said, “Didn’t our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?”
“Lord, You sit at the right hand of God the Father. Shield me from the pride of my pet distractions and let me see through the open spaces. Grant me the sense of the gear I should be in, the direction I should face, and the speed I should apply to get to where You are leading. Let courtesy, and the courage to trust You be my road signs, and let me signal with a smile the turns you are guiding me to make. Amen.”