Road Trip Worries

My oldest son made a cross-country drive from California to Virginia this week. His trip is proof that I should be a fiction writer. When I heard about the trip, I immediately imagined all kinds of tragic scenarios for the journey.

arizona asphalt beautiful blue sky

Photo by Nextvoyage on

At first, he planned to add a little vacation to the drive with a two-day stopover in Moab, Utah. Why Moab? Because according to biking sites it is the mountain biking capital of the world. It has “some of the most challenging biking anywhere.” Translation: a high potential of careening down steep inclines and over rocky cliffs. Why even pack animals that used to carry supplies through there had difficulty getting a grip on Slickrock Trail.

The Moab bike trip was nixed. The next plan was to take the route through the mountains for a scenic ride into Colorado. That route would have taken him through Donner Pass, and we all know what happened at Donner Pass. It doesn’t matter that it isn’t the 1800’s any more or that it isn’t winter; it could still snow there. On the last day of summer last year the snow plows had to be called out to clear the pass. Nor did my worries take into account that he isn’t likely to starve there now;  dozens of restaurants have been built around the Donner summit.

He ultimately chose to drive I-40. Did that ease my mind? No. This route involved a drive through the Mojave Desert. I wondered would he take enough water for that heat? Would he pack a sleeping bag in case he broke down and had to spend the night? It gets cold in the desert at night. Would he zip the sleeping bag tight so that a rattlesnake looking for a warm place to sleep in the desert cold couldn’t crawl in? (My son has had an encounter with a rattlesnake before – not in his sleeping bag but under his boot. Since then I always have to mentally check out if there is the possibility of a rattlesnake encounter).

At some point in all of this imagining, I realized my worries were ridiculous. My son is over 40 years old. He’s driven through Iraq and Afghanistan dodging IED’s and gunfire. What’s a little drive across the USA after that?

I was behaving like the mother I read about in the Reader’s Digest. She attended a homecoming ceremony for her Marine son returning from Iraq. When she saw him running to catch one of his buddies to give him a bayonet, she shouted across the field, “Kevin, don’t run with that knife in your hands!”

Mothers just can’t stop being mothers and too often that turns into anxiety. Jesus warned us that worry doesn’t do any good. “Can anyone of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” (Matthew 6:34).

What are we supposed to do with worry? Turn it into prayer. Philippians 4:6 tells us, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”

So, that’s what I did. I prayed him across I-40 giving thanks that he was getting to see so much of our beautiful country.

What about you? What worrying could you turn into prayer? What is there to give thanks for in the midst of that concern? Leave me a note, and I’ll pray with you.


7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kenda Turner
    Jun 28, 2018 @ 13:22:18

    Great account of Sam’s travels–and of a mother’s worries. We can all relate, that’s for sure. Philippians 4:6 has been one of my go-to scriptures through the years, too. Enjoyed this post and appreciate the reminder 🙂 And really chuckled at the story of the Marine’s mother!


  2. Connie A Huddleston
    Jun 28, 2018 @ 15:25:26

    Yes, Philippians 4:6 is a verse to keep handy for so many of life’s situations. I’ve had the mother of the Marine story for a couple of years.I knew it was an anecdote I would use someday. It’s also been a reminder to me that I need to remember my sons aren’t little boys anymore.


  3. Shirley Casebolt
    Jun 30, 2018 @ 15:16:25

    Yes, once a mother always a mother. That being said I try not to worry about tomorrow and make my today miserable.I also have a son who deployed to Afghanistan and then ti Iraq. I just prayed for his safe return and God answered Yes to that prayer.


  4. Connie A Huddleston
    Jul 01, 2018 @ 09:37:37

    Giving thanks for how the Lord answered your prayers for the safe return of your son. Your comment is a good reminder that worry is a choice. May the Lord give you many more answers to prayer…especially ones you have persevered in praying for even when it has looked like it is never going to be answered.


  5. Kay Burress
    Jul 07, 2018 @ 09:30:04

    In a delima over my son at this time and keep trying to not worry and I’m wearing God out with all my prayers! How do you not worry even a little bit! Keep praying! Enjoyed your imaginary trip and the reality that the trip was a safe one!,,❤️🙏🏻


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