Ever wish you could pull over to the side of the road, refill your gas tank, grab a bite to eat, and maybe sleep overnight? The Petrified Wood Station in Denton, Texas, would suit you to a T if you were around in 1927. I recently traveled to Texas Motor Speedway for the NASCAR and Indy Car races. I usually stay in Runnaway Bay, well north of the track, but my place was hit by flooding and a tornado. I stayed with a very hospitable Indian couple managing the Staybridge Suites in Bridgeport instead.
On Sunday I ate dinner at Sweetie Pie’s steakhouse on the square in Decatur. I took the wrong highway out, even though I could see the setting sun down the road I should take, I turned the other direction. I’ve found that when I ignore my good sense, it’s because I need to see or learn something down this alternate path. This is the mark of a creative person. In kitchen terms, this is the difference between a chef and a cook. The chef creates and the cook executes. Chefs will take alternate paths or make unusual combinations. Cooks make the food the same way every time. I don’t cook, in case you haven’t guessed.
As I drove along the Old Chisolm Trail on what was the old highway before the interstate and bypass were built, I realized I was following the railroad tracks also. I was back in 1950’s America, when cars were large and gas was low. I turned the corner and saw this old Texaco station made of petrified wood. I thought, “Oh yes! I have traveled back in time for sure!” Then I read the sign, NO GAS. Nope: no time travel, just an historic property that called me from afar.
This place closed up in the 1960’s or thereabouts, so the motel is closed completely. The old station belongs to the original family who keep it as an office. The cafe reopened a few years ago and seems to do a good local business. This place has memories it could tell if it could only speak. The locals claim Bonnie and Clyde stayed here a few weeks before their gory demise.
Today I travel homeward, with a layover in Shreveport. The Red River there is at a 70 year flood crest. Not the “100 year flood” but close enough for plenty of troubles. How’s your day going so far?
Pour up a cup of good coffee, sit for a spell, talk with God about these things. Getting them off our chest and out of our minds is a form of cleaning spiritual house. They no longer clutter up our thoughts, so we’re free to think clearly about the now in which we live.
If we put our thoughts or feelings out in a journal (paper or computer), we gain power over them. Every time we write a word, a sentence, a story, a memory, a song, a poem, or a dream that woke us up in the night, we survive. A collection of moments of survival is life! Days of moments is living!
One day we’ll wake up to realize we are stronger than our memories, braver for our pains, and more compassionate for our woundedness. This is the day we discover the Christ who lives in each of us.
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.