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FIRST GLIMPSE: take the scenic route

by Eric Thomsen, managing editor, ONE Magazine

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IT ALL STARTED WITH A TRAFFIC JAM. I squinted through the windshield at the ribbon of motionless cars stretching into the distant horizon. Gasoline fumes shimmered in the summer sun as drivers huddled selfishly around their air vents in a vain effort to stay cool. Frustrated, I turned to my wife. “Can you believe this?” She opened one eye briefly, glared at me, then resumed fanning furiously. I glanced anxiously down at the gas gauge, hoping to see the needle climb miraculously above the E. It didn’t. Instead, it took a sickening lurch downward. From the back seat, my five-year-old piped up for at least the tenth time. “Daddy, I’m hot! Can you please make us go? Please. Please. Please.”

With one last look at my fuel gauge to justify my actions and with a half-hearted wave of apology to the cars around us, I eased our car into the first illegal U-turn of my life. As I watched my rear view mirror for blue lights, I headed toward the gas station we had passed a few miles back.

After filling my empty tank, I stepped into the ramshackle station to pay the attendant. As I handed him a twenty, he took one look at my face, chuckled, and said, “Get stuck in traffic?”

A dozen sarcastic answers jumped into my mind, but I bit my tongue and simply nodded.

“I know a way around.”

Suddenly he had my full attention.

Pulling an oily, dog-eared map from his overalls pocket, he tapped his grease-stained finger on a winding country route, grinned, and said, “This’ll getcha there.” After thanking him profusely, I hurried back to the car with the good news.

Ten miles later, the interstate seemed a world away as the narrow country lane wound its way between a rippling stream and a beautiful line of green hills. Enjoying the cool shadows of overhanging trees, we rode for miles with the windows down, singing, laughing—simply enjoying the scenic route.

I can’t help but wonder how often we miss out on things because we get stuck in the same old ruts, routines that dictate our lives and rob us of the pleasure of discovering new things, finding new directions, and meeting new people. The October-November issue of ONE Magazine looks at new directions for Free Will Baptists, from the innovative methods of today’s church planters to new mission fields across the nation and around the world. We are a denomination on the move, and we are moving in new directions. So why don’t you take the scenic route and find out exactly where Free Will Baptists are headed. You’ll be glad you did.




©2005 ONE Magazine, National Association of Free Will Baptists