It was grey and rainy when we woke up in Kansas City, Kansas, the beginning of day 4 of our cross country adventure. We were tired, sick of being in the car, and to be honest, starting to get on each other’s nerves…just a touch. A multi-day cross country road trip with your spouse is a true testament to your marriage. In fact, working together from home for 2 months prior to a multi-day cross country road trip during a pandemic is truly a challenge for anyone.
Our day began as most all of our days begin…looking for a good, local coffee place. We found such place at SplitLog Coffee Co. near downtown Kansas City. We couldn’t go inside the building, but we did go through the drive-through for some delicious cappuccinos, chocolate donut and croissant.
As we entered the freeway, we knew this would be the last full day of driving, thank God! This journey was taking its toll of us, physically, mentally, and emotionally. I prayed for an easy day, full of good conversation, decent food, and a clean, safe hotel for later that night.
Finding good food on road trips is hard, especially during a worldwide pandemic. Sit-down restaurants were closed, so the best we could do was fast food and snacks from the gas station. I remember being somewhere in Kansas when we stopped for gas and I stayed at the car to clean the windows, while the gas was pumping and my husband went to find the restroom. I wore my cloth mask, handmade by a friend’s mom.
A gentlemen at the next pump, who was not wearing a mask, was eating an ice cream cone. He asked me if I was sick. I said that I was not. Then he said, “I thought you were sick because you are wearing a mask.” He paused then said, “why are you wearing a mask?”
I answered, “I wear a mask out of precaution, for safety and to stay healthy.” His response was, “Well, I don’t wear one. I figure if God’s going to take me, that’s up to Him.”
I nodded and took in what he had to say, then I responded, “You are right. Only God knows when it is our time to die, but I believe God gives us wisdom to know how to deal with situations and stay safe.”
He shrugged and then said, “Well, I’m not wearing one.”
Thinking back on this encounter, while a little awkward, it was profound. The man’s comment about the timing of death is very true. None of us know when we will die, really. I have heard that very sick people in their last days on earth do know that they are about to die and have a sense of peace about it. I hope that is the case.
Whenever my time comes, I pray that Jesus gives me peace and that I pass easily from this world into His loving arms.
I do think it is our responsibility to take care of our earthly bodies as best as we can, by eating a healthy diet, exercising, and taking precautions as needed. Since March, I had gotten used to wearing a mask outside of my apartment, and used to seeing everyone else around me wearing a mask too. The authorities in Los Angeles had been and are still insistent that everyone wear a mask when in public. During our cross country trip, we experienced people wearing masks and people not wearing masks. It varied from community to community.
In a rural part of Kansas, at a gas station, I was among a handful of people wearing a mask, even though there were informational signs everywhere talking about social distancing, washing hands, and wearing masks. Ultimately, it is something we have to decide for ourselves.
I trust the wisdom God gives me every day. I feel the nudge of the Holy Spirit, as He guides me. Some people talk about their “gut reaction” and “trusting their gut.” I believe that “gut feeling” is the Holy Spirit. He is our compass, pointing us to the right way, keeping us safe, and giving us comfort in the decisions we make.
If we all listen and follow our “gut,” the Holy Spirit, we will never be led astray or have a crippling fear that stops us dead in our tracks.
Before any big decision, talk to God about it and listen to how He is nudging you. You don’t have to have it all figured out. God will lead you, if you trust Him. He will show you His perspective, if you ask Him. Then, when you obey and take whatever LEAP He is showing you, He gives you peace.
“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.” Numbers 6:24-26 NIV