Stats to Date:
Total Miles:10,502
Total States (& Districts):17
Total Oceans Touched:2
Car Problems:1
Total Times Lost:6
Day: 25 Location: Pensacola, FL
The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.
-- Thoreau

Granny B, who claims she hasn't cooked for 5 years, woke up this morning and made me eggs, bacon, hash browns and toast -- all of it was great. We then went over to meet my stepdads brother, Jack, and wife, Diane. (I know, the song got stuck in my head too.) Jack was out getting his boat ready for his bible study group to come see it (see picture -- is anyone else thinking TrackBrad II?)... we talked for a minute before heading back to their house. They live on a small island just off the coast, among many other houses -- but their house was built by Jack and it definately was a house for an adventurer. It was a cross-between a nice beach house and a tropical grass hut. Very comfortable and nicely done, but rustic -- like something you would see in a movie. I got to talk with Diane for a few minutes before it was time to leave -- then I headed on down the road.

It was a long drive today down some pretty plain roadway... but it gave me some time to wrap my mind around an idea I had been playing with for most of the trip. Jack and Diane ("two American kids doing, the best they can") told me they were planning on taking a 5 year sabbatical to travel and see what God wanted them to do next -- now that their kids were almost grown. They helped me form a thought I have had for a while: A truly free-spirit will only exist under the dominion of Christ.

Now, a little disclaimer -- this may sound a little "preachy" -- but I definately don't mean it that way... this is the only way I can explain to you why and how I was able to take this trip and make it this far... I really started thinking about this when several people wrote me concerning living a "free spirited" lifestyle. I've known several people in my life who seemed to be free-spirited -- above circumstance or attachment to anything material -- but I have also seen in them the shortcomings of the human spirit. When someone sets out to free themselves, they still remain under the rule of pride, fear and death... if not more. It's beyond their control -- they believe they can do it on their own (pride), they (like everyone) face hard times, evoking fear that changes their course and eventually, they'll die. Death is the most certain barrier of the three to freeing yourself.

But if you have committed to God, "I want to be your hands and feet -- I'll go where you send me." You follow him and can live your life without pride, because you know it is Him that is moving you. Without fear, because you know He loves you and is in total control. And without death, because you know Christ has conquered the grave when He was resurrected on the third day. You are unstoppable and free... and you will know whereever He takes you will bring "life abundant." In other words -- beyond your expectations.

If you accept that God exists, you probably accept that He knows everything. I mean, He's God. I also believe God loves me and wants me to prosper... so following Him makes perfect sense... Think about it -- access to the God who knows everything that's best for you... an adventurous God. When you submit to that, you are free from the power of sin, pride, fear and death. And, the love for God that comes from experiencing God's love for you transforms you and overflows to others.

However, some Christians (including myself) often substitute the rule of Christ (the relationship) with a set of rules and behaviors that suppresses the freedom they received in the first place. The truth is that no religion, church or good behavior can free anyone -- all that is just whitewashing the outside, God wants to deal with the inside for a complete renovation... not just a paint job. Lasting change. How can anyone turn down that offer? It's the only way to live exciting, adventurous lives with freedom and joy despite circumstance -- a true free-spirit... or be resigned to live a life "of quiet desperation," submitting to the power of fear, pride and death.

That's all I thought about today... it is still incomplete and probably errored in ways I am ignorant of... but it's been challenging for me. Anyway, nothing really exciting happened today... I really wanted to see the F-18 Imax movie here in Pensacola, but I didn't make it in time -- oh well. Two more days and I'm home! Goodnight!
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