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.
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?