I had an easy drive today, just 6 hours and 300 miles. Trust me, that’s easy compared to most days. I had 3 teenagers who were all going back to their respective foster homes after a weekend pass and they all went to sleep in the car. I took the scenic route just for fun and I’m glad I did. I went up Kansas 7 to Atchison and then on to Hiawatha and over to Seneca on US 36 and after the last one was dropped off I went south on Kansas 63 to St. Mary’s and back on US 24 through Topeka and Lawrence. If you’re ever in that part of the state of Kansas, I highly recommend this route. People think of Kansas as flat but this region would be the exception. Between Leavenworth and Atchison there is a scenic byway called the Glacial Hills. This time of year that stretch is lined with 8 foot tall corn on both sides of the road which can be claustrophobic, to say the least. After I got out of the corn, I turned west on 36 just in time to enjoy one of God’s masterpieces, an incredible Kansas sunset complete with a building thunderstorm off to the south. You haven’t lived until you’ve experienced a 360 degree panorama of every color known to man. I saw pastels that I didn’t know existed and cloud formations that were so majestic I couldn’t take my eyes off them. For some strange reason, that I can’t explain, listening to Jimi Hendrix play Little Wing for about 7 minutes just seemed to fit right in with the scenery. That was followed by Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries (hey, it’s an Ipod on random play, what can I say).
Here’s why this matters. Life is much more interesting when you get off the interstate and find a more scenic route. Today a storm passed through the area just before I left home and it’s as if God was washing everything down just so it would look its best for me. As the temperature dropped and the sunset filled the western sky, I got to see America at its most beautiful and it was wonderful. People were out in lawn chairs soaking up the last rays of sun, kids were actually playing in parks and Sonic was busy feeding everybody in town. I know it sounds corny, but I think Sonic has done more for little towns than Walmart. Where else can you go and see real live carhops on roller skates. Sonic is the one place I always tip to excess just to see the kid’s face light up.
Life is meant to be enjoyed for all its worth and in person. Today I got paid to have fun and I will never forget it. It was beautiful, amazing and All-American in every possible way. My old friend Steve Smith lives in this part of the state and he is always posting photos on Facebook that are simply incredible. He can make milk weed look like art and now I know why, he’s surrounded by God’s best work. When God has a canvas as big as the Kansas sky he can do wondrous things and all we have to do is look up. I think these are the times when he really speaks to me in person. His message is pretty simple, “Look at what’s possible if you just believe in me?”
God has a way with me that always seems to be perfectly timed to my life at that moment. I really needed an easy drive after weeks of long hours, dangerous drivers and challenging kids. He gave me just what I wanted and exactly the message I was most ready to accept. He knows I love sunsets and clouds and the Kansas Flint Hills and today I was given the best of all three at once. Every time I think I should be doing something else with my life, he gives me another good reason to keep trying. For that and so much more, I feel truly blessed. Today Lord, I heard you loud and clear.
©Guy R. Horst and grhgraph.wordpress.com, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Guy R. Horst and grhgraph.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content