Welcome to “4 Miles”

My family and I just returned from a trip "home" for the Holiday week. I can't read in the car, or do much of anything else for that matter because I get carsick. My husband likes to drive in silence most of the time, and my son usually has his nose in a book or a video game, so that leaves me to look out the window and read the road signs. Just outside Rolla, Missouri, I noticed a sign that looked like this:


I know this stretch of road really well given that we have been traveling back and forth on it for about 15 years, but I've never noticed this sign before. What was the second line below the entry for Rolla supposed to mean? I had no idea what was ahead in 4 miles, so I began to wonder.

Is it a town too small to be worth mentioning? Is it just an exit that would take you East instead of North? As I anxiously awaited the arrival of "4 miles," I worried that I might miss it, now having been appropriately informed, and in that moment I realized that this was something God wanted me to see.

Have you ever been through one of those seasons of absolute blindness? As a family, we have been through three big ones (though life is full of little ones).

The first was when my son was diagnosed with cancer. With very little information available pending staging and protocol, we had to make several major decisions that would profoundly affect the course of the coming year. The second was when we made our first major move which brought us to our current home. The third we just finished passing through.

Just that morning my husband had turned down a wonderful job opportunity that would have required us to go blindly into the unknown. However, staying put meant remaining in an equally uncertain situation. We were absolutely unable to see the future of either situation, we only knew that a decision had to be made - and soon. That's why "4 miles" began to have real meaning to me.

Through the stretch of road we traveled anticipating "4 miles," it dawned on me that there was no doubt that we would eventually get there. We were, after all, on the road that predetermined our arrival; we only had to follow it.

And as far as that goes, we really had no choice. The road required that we steered to stay on course, took the bends and twists and hills with an even speed, and that we did not stop but kept moving ever forward on the course that was already laid out for us.

We didn't choose the road (there's only one road home), we only followed it. We didn't determine its path around, over or through the obstacles that established its topography, we only watched the signs that warned us of what was ahead. Taking the next curve. Topping the next hill. Ever onward, ticking off one mile at a time to finally arrive at the unknown.

Those seasons of blindness are just like the road to "4 miles." The destination is uncertain, but the arrival is not. The road ahead is laid out before us; we just have to take one step forward. We only have a road sign or two to warn us of the road conditions, but they're enough to help us navigate the curves. God has paved the way, He only asks us to follow, and as we do, the destination is revealed along the way.

Welcome to "4 miles." It's not what you thought it would be, but then you never know until you get there!