Here, in coastal southeastern Virginia, we have an unusual situation with our one main highway, Interstate 64 (affectionately, or otherwise, known simply as ’64’). Its even number indicates an East-West roadway. But for ‘Southside’ locals (those living in Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Chesapeake), the easternmost end makes a 24-mile loop, connecting it with a more recent highway, I-664. That entire sweep encompasses all four directions as it fish-tails to a close. For newcomers and tourists, this gets very confusing, certainly for those blest with a good sense of direction. Whether you have chosen I-64 East or West, at any given point along this peculiar stretch of multi-laned freeway, you may be driving in any direction but the one you’ve selected, the one which continues to be announced on the signage spanning the lanes of travel. Puzzled motorists frequently wonder things like: “Why am I driving west on I-64 East?” “Why is the morning sun shining in my eyes on I-64 West?” I share this all-important information with you in the event you are, as a local, still scratching your head over this oddity, and as a heads-up if, as a visitor, you have occasion to experience one of our many, inescapable, traffic bottlenecks while trying to head to the beach (it’s to the east).
We often think of our in-Christ life as a journey. A journey to the heart of the Father. A journey of discipleship. A journey in fellowship with community. A journey of ups and downs, twists and turns, with moments of disquieting confusion as to the direction we’re going. We’re convinced (most of the time, anyway) that God is with us, but when progress slows or stagnates, when we get detoured by sin, when life circumstances are grinding us into the dirt, when people hurt us, leave us, betray us, when health and finances take a hit, when the heavens ‘turn to brass,’ we can feel disoriented, abandoned, fearful. It’s at this point we need to choose to continue trusting the ‘road signs,’ that we are, despite all evidence to the contrary, still encompassed by the loving watch care of our Father who has guaranteed to see all of us arrive, safely, home. And He’ll be waiting up – with the light on. PD