Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Road Trip

As is the custom at our house, last week we watched a movie together. This week the movie was Elizabethtown. We liked it, but it’s kind of dark for the first 20 minutes or so. The main character of the movie, Drew Baylor played by Orlando Bloom is preparing to commit suicide because his career has taken an incredible, unredeemable dive. It’s at this very moment that his sister calls to tell him that his father has died while on a trip to visit family in Kentucky.

Drew had always planned to take a Road Trip with his dad, but life got busy and he never did. On the flight to Kentucky to handle the arrangements of his father’s death, he met a flight attendant named Claire played by Kirsten Dunst. He was the only passenger on the flight and so there was a good deal of conversation. She drew a map with directions for him to find Elizabethtown and included her phone number on the paper with the map.

Drew finally finds Elizabethtown, and one night during his stay, desperate for a person to talk to, he called Claire. They talked all night. They agreed to meet and watch the sunrise. A friendship evolved and then a relationship. In the course of talking Drew promised that he would take at least some of the trip back to Oregon as a Road Trip. When it was time to leave Claire gave him a large scrap book with a detailed Road Trip with pictures, narrative and even music.

The Road Trip was for him an experience of closure, healing, joy and self discovery. On the sign for Elizabethtown, there is a phrase that appears underneath the name. It says,

“A Heck of a Place to Find Yourself.”

I like the play on words, but even more, I like that people find themselves. Usually in the last place they look. You see, there comes a time when we all need a Road Trip. A time alone in the car, with your music, your volume, your path, your bathroom breaks, your food, your laughter, your singing, your dancing, your prayers, your schedule, your self.

It’s really easy to lose your identity as a person while pursuing a life. We can forget who we are, what our purpose is, who the really important people are and why life matters. Jesus said, “What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self?” (Luke 9:25) Perhaps Jesus wasn’t talking about taking a Road Trip. But I recall a passage in Matthew that talks about the “…narrow road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”
It’s time for a Road Trip.

Michael Taylor

No comments: