Greetings from Dayton, Ohio! Hope you’ve been having a lovely summer. We’ve reached that odd stage when — even though I pretty much wish summer would never end — we would benefit from some outside structure. Of course, it’s all sort of irrelevant now. We are headed to vacation in Michigan (hence the stop in Dayton) and as soon as we get back the boys go straight to school. It goes faster and faster with each passing year.
You might be wondering, “Who on earth is Sienna?” Well, she’s my swagger wagon, my Toyoya Sienna, and yesterday she turned one. Poor girl wasn’t babied or broken in gently. Oh no. She was brand spanking new with 8 miles on the odometer on July 31. 2015. But I took this pic last night.
And yes that says 24.328 miles. That’s not just a heck of a lot of miles (a personal record even though I log a lot every year), it’s a great deal of time. If I averaged 45 mph for all those miles that would be 540 hours spent in the car, or 22.5 solid days. And there’s no way I could average 45 miles per hour. It’s not terribly infrequent that I get behind someone coming down the mountain who is seriously freaked by the descent and averages about ten miles per hour. But no matter how the numbers are crunched, suffice it to say that I’ve spent an absurd amount of time in the car this past year.
From Philadelphia to Palm Beach, from Mackinaw City, Michigan to Sandestin, Florida, Nashville to Fripp Island, South Carolina, from Wilmington, Delaware to Fkorence, Alabama and many points in between, the minivan has faithfully carted us near and far. We’ve listened to many a tune, from practically every genre. I’ve listened to sermon upon sermon and book after book. We’ve shared stories galore and played hours and hours of family feud. We’ve traveled for pure pleasure, part business, for baseball and basketball tourneys, for a swim meet, a wedding and to relocate. In sum, sweet Sienna has seen twelve states.
All those miles have also afforded me time to think too. Time to relive memories and dream big dreams, time to make mental to-do lists and time to think through lots of decisions.
What I haven’t done as much as I should have is pray. Yesterday I was listening to the book on prayer recommended by the pastor I heard earlier that morning (ahh, technology). The author, E.M. Bounds, said, “The most important lesson we can learn is how to pray.” I spent a few miles analyzing that strong statement, and I’m not convinced it’s not a tiny bit of an overstatement. But I’ll concede that learning to pray is certainly one of the most important lessons we can learn.
Jesus was a prayer warrior, frequently retreating by himself for fervent prayer. That simple fact is mind boggling. My sinless Savior who was God incarnate needed to pray? That alone says volumes about my need of it! Paul wrote we that we should pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:16-17). The darling Mrs. Nunery (my newly married niece) use to keep a prayer list hanging from her rear view mirror. I wonder what she’ll do now as a NYC pedestrian? But the point is, even though I seriously doubt I’ll rack up 24K miles again this year, I’m still going to drive a fair number, including 180 later this morning.
So I’ll start today by spending more time praying in the car. If I really believe prayer mysteriously changes the course of the world, and I do, then how cannot I not devote more time to it?
Also I just happened–you know just coincidentally–to pack these books before I headed to church yesterday.
Abundant blessings on your last days of summer. May they be full of joy and drenched in prayer. I plan for mine to be.
“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.”
Ephesians 6:18 NIV