Growing up in Iowa, most roads were as straight as a yardstick. We could say, “Go east one mile, head south, and you’ll eventually get to Ames. But in areas where mountains, hills, streams, and valleys rule, the four directions on the compass are little help navigating around the area. Most directions are like, “Go to the top of the hill and turn right,” or “down at the bottom of the hill make a sharp left.”
A hundred years ago most roads were graded, but only select roads were covered with gravel or brick. Travel was dusty in dry weather and nearly impassable in wet weather. The roads led to nowhere in particular. In 1912, Carl Fisher, who created the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and started the Indianapolis 500, dreamed of a road that would connect the east coast to the west coast. By 1913 over 3300 miles of road became the Lincoln Highway, now known as Highway 30. I find it coincidental this highway goes through my hometown, Nevada, Iowa, and Bedford, Pennsylvania, where I’m living this summer.
Much of the original Lincoln Highway has been replaced with wider lanes and straighter paths, making it safer and faster. With more concentration on what is really important in our lives, we can pick the right roads to avoid detours and bumps along the way.
Dear Lord, help us see rough roads as a learning experience in life. Amen.