I’ve always dreamed of driving cross-country, but these days the closest I can get to it is reading about it. So I did.
I read Prayer and the Art of Volkswagen Maintenance; Finding God on the Open Road, by Donald Miller. It was a very enjoyable read. I love adventure, I love God. And I love the idea of forsaking the material world, though I find the application much harder. Miller’s goal was not necessarily to forsake materialism, but I suppose it’s a by product of driving cross-country in a beat up bus living on rice and beans.
The book catalogues Miller and his friend, Paul’s, journey driving from Texas to Oregon in an old Volkswagen bus.
Miller doesn’t delve deeply into the theology of Christianity, or God Himself, but it is his search and his honesty that I like. Miller is a Christian, seeking to know God in a deeper more relational way, rather than in a head knowledge sort of way. Seeking to experience God. He reads Ecclesiastes several times.
Below is one of my favorite excerpts from the book. At this point, they are at the end of their journey and are working at a ranch in Oregon and living in the woods.
“I suppose it takes about a week to get used to sleeping outside. But once accustomed to it, a person cannot easily go back to having a roof over his head. It is no wonder that Christ had a conflict with the rich young ruler. I believe that if Christ were to come to the ranch today, and bid us follow, the folks in the woods might go, and the folks in the homes would probably stay to mow their lawns.
If a man’s senses are either sharpened or dulled by the way he rubs against time, mine have become increasingly sharp over these last three weeks. I am hungry, so I appreciate food and thank God for it whenever I find ice cream or other perishables in a condo I am cleaning. I appreciate friendship, and need no television to keep me company. I appreciate birds chirping, as there is no radio to seduce my ears. I appreciate God, because I live in the house He has made, as opposed to a house I purchased by my own means.
If I found God on the open road, I found Him the same way Solomon did: by the process of elimination. I found God because He kindly removed all the distractions.”
Now let’s go hop in a van and head West, sleep under the stars, see God’s beauty, and forsake the materialistic world we live in. Who’s with me?
7 thoughts on “Hop on the Bus!”
Mmmm, that was good. If I remember correctly, Donald Miller wrote Blue Like Jazz, which is a worthy read. I will have to put your suggestion on my list. Thanks for sharing, really made me think!
And the wheels on the bus “go round and ’round”!
Whenever I feel like I’m losing touch with God, I go outside. Simply being in nature connects me…no distractions, just the sounds and sights of God everywhere.
Have you never driven cross country? I’ve had the pleasure of doing it several times (hubbies in the military) and I absolutely love it! I love seeing the countryside and meeting different people! Driving through this country’s beautiful land gives you plenty of time to talk to God and to see just what he has truly given us! Some of my best heart-to-hearts with The Lord have been on backcountry dirt roads…Ok, I must admit there was the one trip that God actually spoke to me…it was after we had just driven through a hail/thunderstorm that actually spun tornadoes, all the while my windshield wipers didn’t work and I was behind a semi going over some swamp in Louisiana….while FOLLOWING my husband! Wanna know what he said? Never follow again…drive TOGETHER! You better believe I listened! 🙂
Ha! Wow! That sounds a little scary! Glad you made it through that. I haven’t really driven…well I guess when I was 13 we drove from Va to North Dakota. And we used to drive to Minnesota every year when I was a kid and I always enjoyed it (hard to believe…all of us in one van and I had fun?). But I have never driven coast to coast, which I really want to do, or been to Colorado. So it’s a must..someday. Maybe when the kids are a bit older. Thanks for checking out my blog and taking the time to comment 🙂
Brooke this blog was such a welcome one about doing a cross country drive. You should ask your dad about a trip he took when he was young we as a family took a trip to California as a family we camped outside in campgrounds and that we used that bluegreen camping storage thing that your dad got from Grandpa Medcalf.