Friday, Amy and I pack a bag and headed out the door. We really had no idea where we were going, just that we were. Summer is over for Amy and the teachers in our area. They “return” to their classrooms this week and the students return at the end of next week. (I put return in quotes because Amy like many other teachers spent her summer going back and forth to the school setting her classroom back up, getting rid of old materials, and re-organizing her classroom. She also lead or attended three or more professional development workshops this summer, researched teaching methods and new materials for her classroom, organized that material into subject binders, and took them to the school. Amy and other teachers across our state are planning for Alabama’s Bicentennial as a State. So “return” is a relative term. Teachers don’t get the summer off.) However, because she is not required to be in the classroom until later this week, we took advantage of a Friday and Saturday to run away and celebrate our 29th Wedding Anniversary a couple of weeks early. Yet, we had no idea where we would go or a plan of what to do. Those that know us, know that is unusual.
After breakfast we flipped a coin between north and south (north won), then between east and west (east won). We then held a coin toss between the two winners – north and east. North won the toss, so we got in the car and started driving. We eventually found ourselves around Nashville, Tennessee around supper time so we decided to stop there. Thanks to Amy’s Google skills and an app on my phone we found a room near a few good restaurants and shopping at Opry Mills. After settling in to our room, we changed went to a themed restaurant and walked the mall (Amy found a few bargains).
Saturday found us driving to The Hermitage after breakfast. The Hermitage is the home and burial place of President Andrew Jackson (the 7th President). We toured his home, cemetery, and gardens. We read about his life, watched a short video of his life, and a demonstration of a duel (three of which he participated in). Jackson was for too many a paradox. He could be aggressive and he could be peaceful. He could fight ferociously and he could listen to opposition. He felt the country was lead by aristocracy and as one who came from poverty, he believed the country should be governed by the people. He believed in term limits and fought against career politicians. He fought against the powerful Bank of the United States and he fought to keep the country united when South Carolina threatened to secede. He was a slave owner, but by all accounts he treated those slaves with kindness. One is buried near him in the family plot. Jackson lead battles against the Creek Nation before he was President and adopted an orphaned Native American infant, but he would as president enforce the Indian Removal Act of 1830 forcing Native Americans out of their homes (the Trail of Tears). I recommend a trip to Nashville to see the Hermitage and learn more about Jackson.
Part of our interest in Jackson and the Hermitage is our love for old homes and history. The other part of our interest lies in Jackson’s role in the Creek Wars in Alabama. Amy teaches 4th Grade which includes Alabama History – teachers are never off the clock. A trip through the Museum Gift shop yielded a collection of books, posters, and charts that will help her students understand more about that part of Alabama History.
Flipping a coin was a fun way to start this trip. We ended up having a great time and took a scenic route part of the way home. But I started thinking about how so many of us treat our entire lives the same way. We have no direction or plan. We just take life a day at a time and handle whatever life throws at us in the best way we can. We are aimless. We are like sheep without a shepherd struggling to survive.
You do not have to leave your life to chance.
You do not have to leave your life to chance. You can have a direction. There is a plan. That plan is life in Christ. That plan is to follow God. Open up His Word. Follow the Shepherd to eternal life.
post script: If you want to know more about following God, please ask.