Three women were traveling in a car to attend a meeting. It was a three hour trip and the roads, previously snow covered and icy, were now basically clear. They were colleagues, but really did not know much about each other. Circumstances caused them to be traveling together and one of them—the one in the back seat – wondered how the long day and road trip would be.
As they journeyed, they talked about their families, work places, worship experiences and, of course, the weather. You see, it had been bitterly cold and the schools in which they all served as Principals had been closed earlier that week due to a snow storm and freezing temperatures. The person in the passenger’s seat mentioned that she was from the Caribbean, so the weather was not something she enjoyed. The passenger in the back commented that although she had previously lived in the Midwest and was accustomed to the snow, she really did not like it being so bitterly cold. However, the driver’s voice filled with joy as she said, “I love this weather! It feels great to me! “ (The other two ladies should have gotten a clue from the fact that while she had on a sweater, she did not wear a jacket or seemed to be bothered even as she pumped gas in the frigid weather!)
They smiled, continue talking, and when the conversation moved to their camp meeting experiences, the passenger in the back seat shared fond memories and even felt a bit warmer as she reminisced about the hot summer weather. But guess what? The driver said, “Now, why in the world would anyone choose to go to a place where it is very hot, and the bathrooms are usually not the best? That just makes no sense to me!” The passenger in the back seat said, “I loved it, and when I was in high school and college, I was one of the “chosen” ones that had to clean camp meeting bathrooms!” They all laughed.
Continuing on, they discussed school issues, listened to hymns and commented on the wonders of nature and how beautiful the snow and ice-covered trees looked. Soon they reached their destination, met with other Principals for several hours, and then returned home. The one who traveled in the back seat was grateful. She felt blessed for the opportunity to spend six hours in a car with spiritual, caring and intelligent women who were brought together by circumstance, yet who took the time to share and become better acquainted.
No, we are not in heaven yet, but the journey is much better when we open our hearts and minds and travel the long road together. I challenge you to look for opportunities, that circumstances place you in, to get to know others. You may, like me, the back seat passenger, be blessed with times of laughter and the joy of new friendships.