One of the saving graces of traveling all the time, is that if you have extended family and friends that you keep in touch with, the road does not seem to be such a lonely place. I miss my wife and kids terribly sometimes when I am away a lot, but I have a big family, as does my wife, and I have been blessed with relationships between the two that never include the word “in-law”. Just cousins and aunts and uncles.
And nobody seems to mind when family “drops in” (at least nobody has ever told me that they do – I hope I’m not missing any obvious signs!). The nature of my work brings me all around the east coast and that gives me the opportunity to be in places like Richmond and Lynchburg in Virginia, Easton and Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania, Baltimore in Maryland, and Syracuse in New York. And there is family within 30 minutes of any of these cities.
And there is nothing better than being able to call up Uncle Lou and Aunt Arleen , or Cousin Susie, or even my daughter at school, and say “Hey, I’m in town, got time for a cup of coffee?” The fatiguing routine of hotel room, hotel excercise room, hotel breakfast lobby, are replaced by little children, family dogs, a home-cooked dinner and family around the dinner table. Thanks for a meal shared, an evening of catching up on photos (usually side-by-side computers these days), or joining in (on a Wednesday evening) a Bible study attended by or even led by a family member. It does amaze me how many family and friends have entered the ministry, and I’m always challenged by their faith, preaching and encouragement.
In a lot of my writing, I speak of the family of God, and the welcome that I feel in many of the churches that I visit, but family and worship together is an amazing combination. This is just a little thank you to my family, all of you who have had this “road warrior” appear out of nowhere, sometimes after months or even years. Nothing like family bonds. God bless my family…