Laity Voices: The Sunday Drive


 Have you ever been on a Sunday drive?   When I was very young, once a month, my family’s Sunday drive activity included a trip to Hiawatha, Kansas to see my grandfather.  There were many of these trips where I was the only child on the trip.  He was my only grandparent, and the ride to Hiawatha was about 2 hours of boring.  And in addition, when we did get there, Hiawatha, Kansas didn’t have much to entertain young people (even in the 1970’s) except the Dairy Queen - more boredom! 
We would usually take Grandpa out to lunch, visit with him for a while and then, it was time for the long drive back home.  My focus for the day was:  get to Hiawatha, do nothing to extend the time there, and then get back home to spend time with my friends.   
My focus on the Sunday Drive was very similar to the more challenging days during  the COVID-19 sequester period.  My focus was on what I didn’t want to enjoy. 
As I became a teenager, I struggled with those Sunday drives even more.  And as I reflect on those distant days now, I see the similarities to the sequester period.  How would the experience have been different if I had been focused on enjoying the moment?  Would my relationships with my parents or my grandpa have been different if I had focused on enjoying the journey instead? 
Today, I am more often able to enjoy the journey by being aware of the ways I see God moving around me.  What ways have you seen God’s presence throughout 2020?  In this year when so much is outside the norm, how are people more focused on being kind and filled with grace? 
  • The miracle of free food for hundreds packaged and carried to car trunks multiple days a week.
  • People with streaming skills teaching others to provide online worship experiences.
  • Medical workers that wear extreme protective gear to provide care for COVID-19 patients, or have to sleep away from home to protect their families from exposure to this virus.
  • A small group filled an apartment with furniture and a kitchen of cooking equipment for a woman and her son that haven’t had their own home in months.
  • People mow the yard and provide meals for a neighbor with a family member in the hospital.
  • An 11 year old girl sent a thank you letter to her mailman who then shared it with his co-workers.  The letter helped thousands of postal workers not usually appreciated feel valued in their work.
  • Thousands of people sewing face masks for medical personnel and at-risk individuals.
  • A woman coloring and mailing 50 postcards out to encourage and share God’s love with others.
  • A Midwest doctor developing a trial inoculation for COVID-19.
  • People focused on supporting local businesses to help keep neighbors working.
What is the lesson on the journey of 2019 for you?  What are the amazing ways that you have seen God at work along the journey?  Does an awareness of those situations create a chance for you to rely on and grow closer to God?  How have your prayers changed recently?
In this time, when we would normally conference together, I encourage you to turn your eyes to God, be aware of His presence, be His hands and feet, and enjoy the journey of growing closer to Him - and help others to do so as well!

Jai Vaughn
NW District Co-Lay Leader