I love my wife Kim. I have always loved her and always will. I love her despite Golden.
Last summer, our 15 year-old son, Chuck, did a three week immersion summer school at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden. I wanted to be there to pick him up when the program ended, but my schedule just wasnt working out.
We decided the best plan was to drive two cars. I would follow Kim on Friday. We would have supper with friends. Then after picking up Chuck on Saturday morning, I would head back to Cortez that afternoon and lead worship on Sunday.
Kim would take both our boys over to Grandmas house in Colorado Springs, where they would stay over for a short vacation.
It meant about 14 hours of driving for me in about a 36-hour period. Three weeks was the longest either of our children had been away from home and I really wanted to see Chuck.
The drive to the Front Range went just fine, until we hit the metro. We hit it at 5 p.m. rush hour. Please note that I am severely directionally challenged. I am not the best driver in the world. I was trying to follow Kim, but whizz ... zoom ... roar cars everywhere.
At some point she got twisted around. I lost her. Found her. Then I drove by her in the wrong lane. Double backed. Somehow, we finally reached our hotel. Whew.
We called our friends and met them at Joes Crab Shack. Our youngest, Matt, buddied up with fellow young man, Danny. Kim and mom, Cheri, put their heads together. I listened to Cajun music, because I literally couldnt hear anything else. The place was so loud! I ate by myself, occasionally nodding at the rest of our party, pretending to hear what they said.
The next morning we were scheduled to pick up Chuck around 8:30. Just to be safe, Kim set the alarm on her cell phone for 6:30. When it went off, she jump up, disarmed it, and turned to me and asked, What time is it?
You set it for 6:30
It says, 5:30. Oh no! Its an hour early!
She reset it, rolled over and went back to sleep. Matt, in the next bed, did the same. I was wide awake and in the dark in more ways than one.
Finally, we picked up Chuck, attended the closing ceremony, ate a quick lunch and headed out of Golden.
I told Kim I would follow her to the highway, and then turn right toward Cortez as she went left toward the Springs. We drove and drove and drove. Then I started noticing the buildings of downtown Denver were getting bigger and bigger.
Kims shortcut didnt work. She was leading me the wrong way. In addition, I was running out of gas. After about an hour of mix-ups, expensive gas, and grumpy Steve complaining, I was finally headed in the right direction.
I teased Kim, After this weekend, it is a good thing I love you.
It was just a tease, but think about all the times we mess up and the Lord God continues to forgive and love us!
Peter came to Jesus and asked, Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times? Jesus answered, I tell you, not seven times, but seventy times seven times. Matthew 18:21-22
Just think about all the times you have messed up. Just think about all the times you will mess up. Just think about all the times you have sinned, literally turned away from God for whatever reason.
Just think about all the times you have got twisted around and went in the wrong direction away from God, and took others with you.
Just think about all of your missteps, mistakes, and when you just missed the mark.
Now remember Jesus loves you despite it all. Jesus forgives you not once, not twice, but more than you can ever imagine.
Despite your mistakes, Jesus loves you, forever and always. And, yes, it is a very good thing indeed.
The Rev. Steve Nofel is co-pastor of Montezuma Valley Presbyterian Church.