The trip from Park River to Grand Forks is a pretty mundane trip. There are no mountains, big cities, significant landmarks, or even coffee shops on the way. The destination isn’t even that exciting (unless you are going to a Sioux hockey game). I guess when it comes to road trips, going to Grand Forks is like going to an ice cream store and ordering vanilla.
Even vanilla ice cream can be made exciting with the right combination of chocolate powder, chocolate candies and hot fudge sauce. In a similar matter all one has to do is add a group of junior high kids to the Grand Forks road trip and suddenly you have an adventure! Add in a flat tire, a gas station with a broken nozzle attached to its air compressor and an impromptu visit to a friend with an air compressor, and some very, happy-to-be-together and out-of-Park-River kids and the adventure gets even better.
Our destination was the climbing wall in the Grand Cities mall. The students had a great time and I learned a different way of facilitating than I was used to. McDonald’s was a hit after. What struck me more, however, were some of the conversations the kids had on the way there. Among the many conversations concerning various games, phone calls, and random goofiness were conversations recalling spiritual truths they had learned from Bible Camp, youth group and Sunday school. And it wasn’t just that they were discussing spiritual things, it was that they were boldly (and sometimes fiercely) proclaiming truths from God’s Word. While there was no opposition to them in the van, they were preparing themselves to defend the truth of God’s Word that they had learned in various public settings. It was fun to hear the content. It was fun to hear the passion. It was a joy to observe from the driver’s seat their unity of conviction.
I guess as I pulled out of Park River I was thinking that Grand Forks was my destination. The conversations in the back seat reminded me that our true destination is Heaven. It also reminded me of Psalm 145:4, “One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts.” May we be faithful in sharing God’s Word with our youth in order that they may “commend your works” and “declare God’s mighty deeds.”