September 17, 2008
We’d been talking about taking a vacation for over a year. Gas prices on the rise as well as those weekly commitments kept pushing it to the back of our minds. I wanted to make a trip back home to see Mom & Dad and soak in the rolling hills of my home state of Missouri. Missouri in August can be steamy hot compared to my new home in Arizona so it probably wasn’t the best time to go, but just the thought of my Dad’s garden and especially those tomatoes were enough to make my mouth water.
In early August a friend encouraged me to make the trip to “see your parents”. A call to Mom & Dad settled it–they were ready to make the trip here with us on our return, then they would fly back. Those 3000 miles round trip were worth every second as we traveled through Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Missouri and then back again. I couldn’t help but remember the family vacations when Dad was the driver and my brother and I slept in the back seat most of the way. Now, Jim & I became the tour guides. I felt bad when Dad said, “if I’d known how many places we were going to go, I doubt if I’d come!” That bothered me a moment until he explained that he wouldn’t have thought he could have handled it. Whew!
We did enjoy perusing many of the Indian ruins in Northern Arizona, but visiting a missionary on the Hopi Reservation was quite a treat! The Petrified Forest and the Painted Desert were highlights as we made
our way to the Grand Canyon. The Grand Canyon was spectacular, but we were so exhausted by then we just took a few pictures and headed for home.
I wouldn’t trade those two weeks with my parents for anything in the world! Since they left a week ago today I’ve spent some time looking up scripture on “parents” and “children”. Did you know there are many, many passages that address the responsibilities and conduct of both? I’ve thought since I was a teen that if you honor your parents you are promised a long life. That was always in the back of my mind growing up, still living at home, but now I realize that the responsibility is even greater.
Everyone knows that the 5th commandment says to Honor one’s parents, but the commentary I was using specifically spelled it out as “respect, love, reverence, treat graciously, with dignity and assisting them financially.” The reference in Mark 7:10 says “He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.” That’s pretty strong language, but it certainly shows how God regards this obligation.
I’m so thankful I have God honoring parents that make it easy to honor them… even though I didn’t read anywhere that there were any exceptions to the commandment!