We were driving to a birthday party in Dallas. We knew it would be the trip when the odometer would go from 299999 to 300000. As we approached Dallas it started to rain. It started raining very hard. I wanted to film the event and had set a timer to remind me when it would be about time. My first image starts with ten miles to the big event.
Cindy was driving, so I was trying to get the camera to see the odometer without obstructing her view of the road and the speedometer. I strained hard against the seatbelt and could not get a good view. I unbuckled. I pushed my arm closer, but the road was like a cheese grater and the images were all ruined. I tried timelapse. I tried stills. Nothing worked.
As I look back at the blurry images, I can remember the growing frustration with the bouncing road and my inability to hold the camera steady. The last set of pictures captured the moment of the turn, but it was a disappointment. When odometers actually where wheels it was fun to watch the numbers roll in a slow sweeping wave. On this lime green glowing screen it was 299999 and then it was 300000 with not transition, just instant change.
We have had the van for 18 years. It is like part of the family. It has been on most of our family trips. It loves the mountains. It loves camping. Once, it went to the beach with us and the wind was howling and the sand grinding off its paint while I started a fire in a box in the back cargo area. It has driven us safely through the rain and ice and snow. Once, we were descending a long hill in Colorado. It suddenly turned to ice. I could feel the van become and ice skater gliding down the hill. The road turned slowly to the right. I told everyone to brace because we were going to crash. We told each other of our love. It was a long fast descent and we checked every seatbelt and pressed ourselves into our seats. In front of us, a car started rotating in a gracefully pirouette. Another car to our right gained angular momentum and the two cars met and then foced each other apart. Our van slid between the two vehicles as they bounced and remet behind us. I have slept in the van, laughed in the van, prayed in the van and cried in the van. It is sacred space.
The number tells us that the van is beyond its prime and will have to find a decent retirement, we are just not ready yet.
Time is moving forward and change is always coming. Those places where we find rest and security are really important. Church is one of those. It's a place we find safety from the storms of life. It helps us move forward. It helps us feel safe. but it also has to grow and change and adapt. As we inch closer to our new sanctuary I was reminded about how many important things happened in the old sanctuary. While the 'new" sanctuary is beautiful, it will be a change and we are asking our church to pray and seek the filling of the Holy Spirit for the new space in expection of greater things than we can think or imagine.