Tired But Grateful

post date: November 23, 2008

I am writing these words late at night in Columbus, Ohio. In just a few hours I will go to the airport to fly to Birmingham where Marlene will pick me up and then we will drive back to Tupelo. God willing, I should be home around 2 PM. That means in 15 hours my final long trip of the year will be over.

I am tired but grateful as I contemplate going home after a year spent largely on the road. Several weeks ago Marlene figured out that in 2008 we will have spent 158 days traveling. That doesn’t count preparation time or the (very necessary) recovery time once you get home. That number surprised me but then I remember that this year we’ve been in
Bolivia
Columbus, OH
Indio, CA
Hudson, FL
China
Dallas, TX
Tulsa, OK
Pottersville, NY
Sugar Grove, IL
Czech Republic
Westboro, WI
Colorado Springs, CO
Schroon Lake, NY
Cary, NC
Muskegon, MI
Cannon Beach, OR
East Stroudsburg, PA
Danforth, ME
Chicago, IL
Spokane, WA
Lynchburg, VA
Washington, DC
Cannon Beach, OR
Prince Edward Island, Canada
Harvey Cedars, NJ
Oak Park, IL
Hudson, FL
Columbus, OH

That’s a lot of time preparing, packing, driving, checking in, going through security, waiting for the flight, flying, getting our bags, meeting our ride, traveling wherever we’re going, actually doing the ministry, and then doing it all in reverse order. 

So tonight I’m tired but grateful for many friends who have prayed for us. I think as the year comes to an end, we have a better sense of what God has called us to do. We also have a better sense of our own limitations. We can’t do everything or go everywhere or say yes to every opportunity–and knowing that is a blessing in its own way. We have seen God expand our vision and our circle of friends and the number of supporters. It’s no secret that with all the travel, we have often felt weary, but God has sustained us along the way. 

I might have more profound things to say if I could think of them, but that’s one fact about traveling–your profound thoughts sometimes boil down to, “It’s time to go to bed.” Which is what I plan to do because in a few hours I start the final leg of the final long trip of the year. When I called Marlene, she told me that the basset hounds keep going into our bedroom and sniffing around our closet as if they are looking for me. That made me smile. It’s good to be going home and even better to know I’m going to stay there for a while this time.

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Ray Pritchard
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