Storms chased us throughout the afternoon. we barely missed several. then when we got into Texas we saw the most amazing lightning show i have ever seen! to the south, a storm was sending off at least 2 lightning bolts at a time (usually more) constantly!! It was gorgeous. It was after dark and the sky was just lit up! we got hammered by the storm for about 5 minutes only. that was scary- the wind was blowing so hard- i couldn't open my eyes and I had to hold my glasses onto my face. I don't know how dad drove. And I thought the raindrops would give me bruises they were hitting us so hard.
Driving between Dalhart and Amarillo, we could see that we were probably going to run into that storm. I saw one of the craziest things that i have ever seen- a huge thick dark cloud of smoke was on our left side. We had been watching this smoke for the past 20 miles and were wondering what could have happened to create so much smoke. The storm was moving towards us right up to the side of our road on the right side, like rain was falling heavily in the field next to us; and we could see that the windy front before the storm was pushing the smoke away. like the storm was like a normal concave cloud but the smoke was oddly convex with several yards of clear between it and the cloud. And looking straight ahead at our road, it was like we were in a tunnel between a wall of blue-black and one of brown-red all the way up from the ground to above our heads. That road was a straight as an arrow so dad and I compared it to "the straight and narrow path".
Riding a motorcycle is about as vulnerable as you can get. As we approached it we wanted to look to figure out what was causing the smoke and we also wanted to watch the lightning show on the otherside. But we needed to watch the road straight ahead because it was closing in on us! This is like temptation in life. Look at Proverbs 4:25-27. "25Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you. 26Ponder[a] the path of your FEET; then all your ways will be sure. 27Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil." We want to look at this exciting or pleasurable looking thing on the side of our path, but you will be beaten by the wind and soaked by terrential rain OR choked by the smoke if you let yourself do that. 2 Corinthians 10:5. "Take every thought captive to obey Christ." And focus on the path ahead of you. (If you haven't already, read my post, from June 6, 07 "A Torch Would Go Out 13,000 ft. Under the Ocean Anyway" about faith. Especially the second half of it.) And if you have access, look at Geoff Moore's song "Great Lengths."
Sometimes, reguardless of our own choices or even because of our choice to follow God (because, as he tells us, being a christian does not make life easy or perfectly painless) we get caught in life's storms. He even tells us multiple times that we will suffer because we proclaim his name and we see that in martyrs or the New Testament, of Saints, and of Christians in intolerant countries now; as well as in persecution in everyday life. Then there's the death of a loved one, the loss of a job or inability to find a job, or a breakup, failure or whatnot. As Daddy and I endured that storm when we finally did hit it, we have to endure these struggles. I bet Steve won't mind we adding this- but look at his Facebook Note "New Dreams." Romans 5:3-4 says, "More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces characterm and chatacter produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame because God's love has been poured into our hearts."