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“They tell me I’m crazy and ask why I subject myself to such suffering. They assume I dread the prospect of it. But, they’re wrong. They don’t understand.

“The 2,320 miles I expect to drive, as opposed to fly, over the next six days – crisscrossing the Midwest from Olathe, Kansas, to Nashville, Tennessee, to Lake Charles, Louisiana then back to Lebanon, Ohio – will be a welcome respite, one I have been looking forward to for over a week. It’s an opportunity to get away from the busy-ness of life and, although it will mean being away from my family for much of that time, it will allow me to get closer to You.

“Lord, You made me the introvert that I am. I thank You for the gift and the ability to look inward, to find peace in a way that strikes others as loneliness and boredom. But, I’m not alone and I’m not bored. I have You, Lord, with Whom I can converse through heart-felt prayer.

“The solitude of being alone behind the wheel, mile after mile, hour after hour, brings a calming peace, a shot-in-the-arm which I need from time to time.

“With the exception of the ‘thuckity-thuck’ of the tires hitting the cracks in the highway, the silence allows me to focus on You. The stereo is turned off, my phone is off. The only way to be distracted from You is if I allow it to happen. My hope is that I will hear Your voice.

“Over the last couple weeks, my time for prayer with You has been limited. I failed to take the opportunity to pray as I should. Over the next few days, I have no excuse. I find comfort and relief in that thought.

“Lord, thank you for this meal I just had somewhere in Missouri. Thank you for the four days I just spent with my daughter, son-in-law, and especially my grandsons. Thank you for my other new grandson I will see in a few days. Thank you for blessing my family with the birth of my youngest daughter 20 years ago today. Thank you for the poison ivy on my right arm – the itch reminds me that I earned it in service to others in Appalachian Kentucky last week. Thank you for letting me see Christ in them. I pray they saw a glimpse of Your Son in me.

“Lord, I pray that You send my guardian angel to watch over and protect me while I’m on the road, and that You do the same for my family while I’m not there with them.

“Lord, I pray that those who struggle to find time to be close to You will find inspiration in this reflection and make time for prayer with You a higher priority. They don’t know what they’re missing.”

(They Don’t Know What They’re Missing was first published on the blog Reflections of a Lay Catholic)

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