Yesterday I got in a very dirty Mitsubishi with my two children and said a teary goodbye to my family in Wyoming. The kids and I settled in for the 12-hour drive back to the north corner of Montana.
Always when I start this trip I hope maybe it won’t be 12 hours this time.
But it’s always the same mileage, and when I hit the first town that is 25 miles away I always feel a sense of panic and despair that I will never, ever get home. It doesn’t help that I hate sitting in a car and am always the whiniest traveler from the outset.
Matt wasn’t with us this time, with his internal manly compulsion to get to our destination and only tolerable consideration for a woman’s bladder. For this reason I could stop at every single gas station and buy chocolate donuts and stretch my legs for as long as I wanted.
Mom says that when my grandma used to make the drive from Wyoming to Minnesota by herself, she wouldn’t think about the whole trip.
I take it one town at a time, she would say.
So the kids and I gauged our trip by towns and gas stations.
25 miles to Riverton.
20 minutes to Shoshoni. We could make it that far.
A little bit farther to Thermopolis, honking the horn as we drove through the canyon tunnels.
A long leg to Cody, and I let Caleb take my place at the wheel so I could take a nap with my mouth open in the back seat.
Then to Laurel, and everybody needed snacks.
Finally one really hard, dangerous mountain pass that dropped down into Bozeman where we would spend the night.
One town at a time.
I woke up, on the day of the trip, thinking about how Jesus instructs us to ask for daily provision for one leg of the trip.
Give us today our daily bread. (Matthew 6:11 NIV)
I found myself worrying about having the energy to get up the next day and drive five more hours and then teach school, but I was thinking too far out.
There is a self-discipline of spirit, I think –schooling ourselves to live in this day –that is a confession of our own limitations and a demonstration of great reliance on the Lord.
To pray for this day only.
Like a 16-gallon gas tank, we fill up to the top –enough to get us to the next place where we’ll need fuel.
So for today, just for this day, what do you need from the Lord?