Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” Hebrews 13:8
It was a learning experience. Well, it finally happened. Judy and I were able to get away and break away from home. The long awaited opportunity to go somewhere finally emerged from the corona virus fog. After church Sunday we loaded up our car and headed on the great adventure. Soon, the routine of the last several months was in the rearview mirror and we were looking out the windshield at different. The only problem was that different turned out to look a lot like home.
Our journey would take us through three states…Kentucky, Tennessee, and North Carolina. The one thing I quickly discovered is the fact that consistently, and I do mean consistently, everything was inconsistent. Now I have to admit we didn’t have a lot of interaction with Kentucky. Going we were just getting started and coming we were almost home. However, Kentucky had already become our get away place when we wanted to run away from home.
Our first stop in the journey was in Tennessee. We stayed in Pigeon Forge for three nights just to catch our breath. We arrived at our hotel which was a Hilton Tru. It was a new branding for Hilton and was designed to reach out to millennials. Ok, if there was a doubt, I discovered I am not one. The hotel boasted that the rooms were intentionally spartan and smaller. I am more the bigger and plush kinda guy. And then there were the corona differences.
So, the first day, no one came to clean our room. Well, obviously somehow, we were skipped. I stopped by the front desk to let them know of the oversight. She, politely, told me it was not an oversight but intentional. What? “Didn’t you read the little card” she asked? Well, no…we had got in late the night before and I am a guy. Do I look like I read little cards? Anyway, the little card said they would not be cleaning our room until we checked out and that if I wanted fresh towels I needed to ask for them at the from desk. What? Excuse me? Oh, and breakfast was scaled back to a yogurt bread (whatever that is) and a breakfast cereal bar…all courtesy of the corona virus. Of course all this was ok because they there able to cut the price on the room with all the money they saved from not cleaning our room or serving us breakfast. Not! No! Nada! That will be full price, sir, and thanks for staying.
And then there were the restaurants. One was operating at full capacity, one at 50%, one at 25%. All the fast food chains were still drive-in only. It felt amazingly like home. We went to one restaurant with about seven cars in their large parking lot. “Oh good, no wait” I said. “Not so” Judy said. Sorry, there will be a 25 minute wait. So three days later, I went into the largely empty restaurant and discovered anew the joy of social distancing. I had to communicate with the closest table with smoke signals. All of this was from an open state. Yup…consistently inconsistent.
Well we moved on to North Carolina…a largely closed state. We checked into our hotel, a Holiday Inn, and I tentatively asked the polite desk person about what restrictions might be in place. “Will you be cleaning our room?” I asked. She gave me a quizzical look and said, “Why yes, of course.” “Do we get clean towels by any chance?” I asked. Her look said “This guy must be from Mars. Of course we will be providing towels.” So the closed state acted like an open state and the open state acted like a closed state and I am slowly going crazy. Our meals were provided at the conference we were attending so we didn’t try any off-campus restaurants. But Judy did want to go to a couple of boutiques. In case you are wondering, boutiques are little stores with big prices. Anyway, most were simply closed and the few she (and notice she) went in required masks to shop in their empty shops. Oh the bliss of being consistently inconsistent.
I am a guy of routine. I love consistency so you can imagine this was quite a challenge for me. It amazes me how the rules are always different in this corona world and the enforcement of those rules are also different. And that is why I like God. He is the Rock of Gibraltar when it comes to consistency. The Word says that Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever. The Jesus you have today is the one you will have ten thousand years from now. The love you have from God today will be the love you have tomorrow and the day after tomorrow. As a song says His love is “sure as a steady rain.” I like that.
If you are just a little tentative about this consistently inconsistent world I have a great recommendation. Try God. He doesn’t change the rules midstream, He won’t change His mind about you tomorrow and His Book remains the constant of constants. Rock solid…that is God. We had a great time on our trip and I came back realizing that the crazy rules aren’t just in Illinois. We found a pretty fair sprinkling of them everywhere. I also came home with a deep appreciation for my island of normalcy…my family and my church family. Both groups are a bit crazy at times, but they are mine and I feel secure around them both. I came home and found the God on the road was the same God at 217 W. Poplar Street and I can rest in Him at both places and all places. I also found that the God on the road was big enough to handle it all. He’s got this.