That’s the distance between my house and Cleveland, MS. Yes, there is a Cleveland in Mississippi. It’s closer to Arkansas than Alabama and is as Southern as you think it is. What’s in Cleveland, MS? Delta State University. The Grammy Museum (random, I know). But my reason for going was to visit one of my closest friends from high school. It was a trip I almost didn’t take, but a trip that was necessary.
Of course I wanted to see my friend, but 424 miles though? That would be a 6 hour, 39 minute drive… one way. Issa no for me. I literally considered almost any other option. Savannah. Daytona Beach. Fort Lauderdale. Chicago. Charleston. Boston. Panama City Beach. Those options were either too expensive, out of rooms, or just as far as Cleveland. Then, I remembered, Cleveland was on my list of things to do in my 27th year (click here, this is why you should write goals down). So off to Cleveland I went. It was one of the best trips I have taken in a long time. It inspired me to go after the things I want in life. To do what I was called to do even if I am afraid. To reassign people’s roles in my life story. To take care of myself. To live life unapologetically. All of this came out of a 424 mile journey, a journey well worth it.
Too often, we become so complacent in life, we allow goals and dreams to fall by the wayside, locked away in our thoughts and journals. The journey seems like a waste of time, so much so, when the opportunity to take the journey presents itself, we say “it’s too far,” “it’s too much,” “it’s not enough,” “it’s not going to work,” “I’m too old,” “I’m too shy.” Excuse, after excuse. You could be right, but what if you’re wrong? What if your healing is there? What if your multi-million dollar business is there? What if your self-esteem is there? What if your husband or wife is there? What if your degree is there? What if your ministry is there? There will always be a “what if,” if you never take the journey.
Moses was the king of excuses. “What if they don’t believe me? I have slow speech and a slow tongue. Let someone else do it” (Exodus 4:1, 10, 13). He was having an actual conversation with the God of the universe, and was still like “nah, that’s not for me.” Moses did not think he could lead. He did not want to take the journey. Touch your neighbor and say, “ohhh, but when he did!” He performed miracles. He helped set a whole nation free. And although it took the children of Israel a minute to figure out life, Moses was still able to be the leader God called him to be. Thousands of years later, we’re still talking about him. The journey was worth it.
My journey took 424 miles. Yours may take going to the gym consistently. Writing and rewriting your manuscript. Going to class. Studying. Saving money. Investing money. Going to therapy. Saying no. Saying yes. It may not always be easy. God told Moses He had hardened Pharaoh’s heart and would not let the people go right away (Exodus 4:21). And God even sought to kill Moses at one point (Exodus 4:24), but it was all part of the journey. Those bumps in the road may come, but we serve a God who can do above all we could ask or think according to the power that worketh in us (Ephesians 3:20). You think the journey is taking you one place, but when you finally get to the destination… In the words of today’s preacher, you’ll find “much better and much more.” Take the journey, even if it is 424 miles.
1 Corinthians 2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
Grammy Museum (April 2018)
My friend Susan at the Grammy Museum in Cleveland, MS (April 2018)