Friday, October 11, 2019

On the Road Again

I woke up in a strange bed this morning. The mattress was too soft, the pillow was too small, and it took me a second, that second between sleep and full wakefulness, to put the pieces together and remember that I was on the road again.

It has been a while since I’ve left home without the wife and kids in tow. My life, for the most part, is gloriously nondescript, common, and simple, and that’s the way I prefer it. There isn’t much fanfare, chaos, or unpredictability. Most days I wake up early, spend some quiet time with God while the rest of my family sleeps, and make an omelet for the girls before they head off to school. On the days we want to change it up a bit, my wife makes them waffle sticks instead.

Even when I used to travel a lot more, back when I was younger, and the knees didn’t creak as bad, it wasn’t because I liked living out of a suitcase, waking up in strange beds, rubbing knots in my back from too much driving, or getting food poisoning because I thought it was a great idea to order the chicken wings at a truck stop out in the middle of nowhere.

We tend to glamorize everything nowadays. Garbage men are now sanitation experts, stewardesses are now cabin attendants, and hucksters and confidence men are now elected officials and representatives of the people.

There is no glamour to being on the road, at least not in the way I travel. While some people have visions of private jets, stretch limousines, and penthouse suites dancing in their heads, the reality of it is more akin to crying babies, cramped seats, lost luggage, and the newest mile-high horror, emotional support animals that really aren’t.

Nothing quite like an 80-pound bulldog with an overflowing diaper to brighten up one’s morning.

So why do it? Why put up with being patted down by an overly enthusiastic stranger who foreshadowed what he was going to do, just not how aggressively he was going to do it, or being herded like cattle, only to be told that there will be a delay in takeoff because some paperwork needed to get signed? Because it’s still day. Anticlimactic? Perhaps, but it is the truth nevertheless.

I can’t speak for anyone else, but I’m not interested in building a kingdom, being an influencer, or having a fan base. I am supremely content making an omelet for my kids every morning, reading bedtime stories, and playing in the park.

If not for the mandate to work while it’s still day, right about now I’d be driving my oldest daughter to school. Try as we might to ignore the reality of it, we know that night is coming. It is well on its way, and with it comes all manner of creepy-crawly things that love to cling to the shadows.

We work while it’s day because we are certain of the night’s arrival. We are diligent while we can be so because when night comes, no man can work though he might want to, or desire to. It’s enough for me to know that Jesus said no man could work when the night comes. The specifics of it are irrelevant to the underlying implication.

Do what you can today because tomorrow does not belong to you. You cannot guarantee with any degree of certainty that tomorrow you will be able to do for the kingdom what you could have done today, or even that you will be here for that matter. Awareness of our temporal existence is a gift, not a curse. Knowing that the end is certain and imminent not only compels us to savor every morsel, hopefully it compels us to roll up our sleeves and finish strong. 

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

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