Road Trip Detours

I don’t know about you, but when taking a road trip, I occasionally end up detouring. Sometimes the detour is forced because of construction, inclement weather, or a bad accident. Other times, a wrong turn or taking the wrong exit off a highway causes the detour. There are times a detour is intentional. I need to use a bathroom, find a safe place to rest or the place by which I am driving looks inviting and interesting, and I am not in a hurry.
Whatever the reason, depending on the weather, the time of day, and location, detours offer opportunities for exploring. There is always something new to experience or to see something old presented differently.
Without exception, people in small towns and rural communities capture my interest. My presence captivates their attention. People stare shyly at me; children usually do so openly. Most teens and young adults make eye contact and politely greet me, or they completely ignore me. Eventually, if I’m there long enough, I exchange greetings with an older person who usually asks one of three questions. “What you doing in these parts?” “Where you from?” “Where you headed.”
I answer the question, and a conversation ensues. Either the person with whom I’m speaking or a passerby recommends a local place for me to eat and points out a venue of which they are particularly proud, or one the person thinks I will find meaningful.
I thank them, and when time permits, I follow their recommendations. Wherever I end up eating, the establishment serves a heaping large enough to feed two or three people. Typically, the food is terrible, but the service is great.
When a detour becomes more than a brief departure from the planned course and turns into a day trip or a weekend getaway, I leave with a meaningful and memorable experience.
Thank God for road trips and for some detours!

Life’s Enhancers

Beginnings
engaging literature, entertaining films, meaningful melodious music, and live theatre
parks and other open spaces
long days of sunlight
warm weather
the vibrant diversity of nature
people of goodwill
kindhearted people
opportunities for growth
time to relax and enjoy the adventures of living and the gift of life
the ability to seek, find, and bask in silver linings
reconciliation, redemption, and restoration
the Internet and social media
the marvels of modern medicine
happiness, harmony, hope, and humor
the will to keep getting up, cleaning up, and moving forward and up
the resources needed to tackle and overcome obstacles
life’s unexpected detours and rest stops
Endings!

 

For Those Adversely Affected by War

Almighty God unto whom all hearts and minds are open and from whom nothing is hidden, we pray that You will comfort and deliver the innocent and convict the conscious of the perpetrators of violence.

Help those living in and near war-torn countries. Our human limitations hinder us from personally bringing about immediate relief for them. So we ask you to intercede.

We pray for the children who long to play outdoors but can’t because of the dangers of war.

We pray for the children who see sparks from ammunition and huddle in fear instead of gleefully rejoicing at watching a planned fireworks display.

We pray for the children who long to go to school to mingle with classmates and to learn, but can’t because of the destruction caused by war.

We pray for relief for them from the shortages of clean drinking water and food; the lack of indoor plumbing and lack of electricity;  dismantled transportation systems, and a collapsed economy; men are without meaningful work.

We pray for them because of the losses that are consequences of war: loss of life, loss of liberty, loss of peace, in some cases, the loss of hope.

We pray for the people whose lifestyles are completely disrupted and forever changed for the worse by war.

God, in Your mercy, hear our prayers and help Your creation.

Deliver us all from evil.

Remove from power those who recklessly declare war by the stroke of a pen or by word of mouth and send others to die fighting or to be killed. Such people are warmongers, unfit to rule. For they are like children playing war games at the expense of the lives of others.

Remove from power those who live in relative peace and comfort, but quickly declare war and deprive others of the privilege of pursuing the same luxuries.

God, have mercy upon Your creation and deliver us from evil.

Help us, Lord.