After moving to Salt Lake City my husband and I began driving around learning about our new home. We discovered how the double numbering system using longitude and latitude kept us from ever feeling lost as we explored. One bright Sunday morning, we decided to drive out to Park City and spend a day exploring a mine they had converted for tourists. We went one mile underground in the mineshaft elevator to find a drippy, cold and dark environment that we mostly wanted to get out of and away from. Dutifully we rode the little mine cars that took us on a tour of the tunnels, learning all the way about how this mine provided so much to the residents of Utah including the artesian spring that supplied our water. At the end of the tour we rode the elevator back to God’s blue sky above and breathed relief at smelling the fresh mountain air.
This was just the beginning of the adventure however. We got back onto the freeway to travel into the city only to find the most massive roadblock of cars that we’d ever experienced. As we crawled forward at 2 M.P.H. we noticed that many locals were bailing off the freeway and up a mountain road. Having developed too much confidence in our navigation skills, we decided to follow the group traveling in a southerly direction. That’s where we made our mistake.
We had driven our brand new, and unfortunately low-hanging, Mazda to Park City. And what we really should have done was park for a while and let the traffic pass. My husband kept saying there was no problem as the street below us turned into a rutted, asphalt road; into a gravel strewn path; into a dirt trek; and finally into a deer trail as it made its way through the forest. Being the passenger in the car, I growled about every little bump and rock hitting the bottom of it. But when our way turned into a dirt trail with what felt like enormous boulders jutting into our path, I begged him to turn around. Nope, he had the wheel and was determined to bypass the traffic and find a different way. No matter what it did to the bottom of the car!
After forever, we reached the summit of the mountain and a dirt lot where backpackers had parked their vehicles while hiking on the mountain slopes. We proceeded through the area to another dirt road following our group leaders with faith in their knowledge. Eventually we left the rocks and dirt behind and found a real road again. It even took up past Sundance, but every bit of the explorer in me had been bumped and scared away.
We wound up coming out one valley south of where we lived, and found the freeway with little trouble that took us back home. Gary chuckled the whole way about what fun it had been to drive over the mountain with no real road to follow. When we arrived back home at the apartment Rosie barooed us a greeting, her lost wanderers.
Sometimes God’s path for us is a bit rutted too. Maybe the asphalt has decomposed a bit with time, or the way becomes lost in the forest of trees. Occasionally guides are sent that lead us back to find God again. All in all, I believe that almost everything that happens can shed light on our experience of the Lord, whether it be a deep, dark mine that makes you shiver or a non-road that helps you climb a mountain with your husband while all the time inside you’re thinking Grrrr!