God works in mysterious ways. Last week, our van broke down. It had been in the shop for several days. So, when we left our house Thanksgiving morning to go to our relatives’ house for dinner, we were unable to spread out in the van. We had to kind of jam together in our other, smaller, car.
Because we were all in such close quarters, we quickly felt a sense of intimacy and familiarity. During the 75 minute ride, we talked and laughed and told stories. For this trip, no one tuned out of the conversation by putting on earphones and listening to music or playing video games. We had a wonderful time sharing memories and laughing at ourselves and reveling in the uniqueness of our family.
We had a really great trip. We arrived at our destination in a festive mood, ready to spread our cheer to the rest of our family. The laughter and storytelling that we began in the car continued for the rest of the day. Everyone at the gathering seemed to pick up on the joy that began on that long, crowded car ride. The whole experience was a day of relaxed, joyful sharing.
That night, as I was thinking about our day, I realized what a gift it was that we did not have access to the van. I don’t remember another trip quite like the one we had today and I know that we won’t have many more trips like this one. Our older children will soon be driving their own cars to gatherings. The car ride that day was a gift from God. It was a very special moment that I can keep in my heart as our children continue to take steps to leave the nest. I am so thankful for God’s grace in giving us the opportunity to have our entire family jammed into close quarters together with no distraction from each other. I am thankful for that 75 minutes of joy.