It’s the route that we take when we remember those lives before Heaven.
The roads on this route are full of curves and hills. Each homeowner/store owner remembers those days in 1998 and 2011. We do, too.
A few weeks ago when Dave traveled out of town for a meeting, he mapped out the route we’d take this Saturday for the annual Jerrel Good/Paul Slabach Memorial Bike Ride. (You can read more about the people in this event here.) He stopped at each place we’ll visit and scouted the surrounding area for safety issues for the two dozen bikers who will be on this ride. He’d taken his weed eater and trimmed around the edges of the bank where the cross we’d place a few years ago could hardly be seen for the weeds and brambles.
Dave took the time to cross the road to visit with the store owner – who recognized him and marked his calendar for the event this year – June 17, 2017.
Because he traveled the route alone, Dave had a lot of time to think. If you know Dave, you’ll know he’s a thinker, and you’ll understand how this route caused him to think. I wasn’t with him, but I am as sure as I can be that he also cried.
On Sunday when he continued his messages on the Lord’s Prayer and shared from Thy Will be Done on Earth as it is in Heaven, he shared. That poignant sharing came from the depths of his heart.
We see life on this earth from our human perspective. As parents, we want to offer the best for our kids. We want their happiness, their health, and their success, and strive to help them achieve those goals. Then, when “bad things happen to good people,” we don’t get it because we’re looking from our perspective as parents and not from the perspective that our Heavenly Father sees. The Eternal View.
“I watched the odometer as I neared the crash sites. These guys had no idea that they were nearing the place where God would call them Home in a matter of minutes. They had no idea, but God knew. Five-tenths . . . four-tenths . . . three-tenths . . . two-tenths . . . one tenth, and BAM! It was over.”
As he recounted those scenes, he cried. So did we.
“But THEN I remembered that it wasn’t over. It was only the beginning!”
That is why we ride.
This Saturday when we ride, we’ll certainly be remembering. We will remember the ripping rawness, the horrendous ache, the harrowing questions, and definite uncertainty. We will remember asking Why? over and over again.
This side of Heaven, life often doesn’t make sense – and sometimes it’s so unfair. Before Heaven, we wrestle and we groan.
Then comes Heaven – where there are no more tears, no more pain, no more sorrow. Where the old things will be passed away and all things will be new.
I’ve learned that when we answer the questions of our kids – and even questions of our own – it helps solidify our faith. We find answers to our own questions when we have to contemplate the ones others are asking.
This I also know: we can look back and see that God continues to be good, even when life hurts and doesn’t make sense. We know that His will is done here on earth – as it is in Heaven. Truly, reaching Heaven is really what this life is about.
So we ride and we remember. We will not forget the ache, the sorrow, or the pain.
Yet, more importantly, we will remember the faithfulness of the God we serve.
We have traced His hand in the years since Heaven claimed our guys.
This we will remember: that our God has been faithful.
And He is always eternally good.