Friday, August 12, 2011


"OK, kids finish your homework and chores because we have a surprise waiting for you!" I lured.

"Dessert?" one guessed.

"Nope.  It's a Destination Unknown!" I announced in my best echo-chamber voice.

Squeals of delight and math word-problem solving flew right along with copying spelling words.  Hand-writing aside, homework was done in record time.

Doug and I did this with our children as well as youth groups through the years. The unknown held such a thrill of anticipation.  

Sometimes we'd drive across town through Raleigh traffic with giggling and guessing from the back seat.  Then we'd pull into the Pullen Park parking lot. (Try saying that fast three times!) Unison voices chimed, "Pullen Park! Picnic!"  

The next hours we enjoyed family time on the playground, carousel or riding the little train in circles.
Kimberly & Kent at Pullen Park

Recently our firstborn, Kimberly, reminisced, "Sometimes your Destination Unknown would be a simple cookout at a friend's house.   But it was so much more fun not knowing where we were going.  I did it with our kids just last week to Krispy Kreme."

Probably this element of life surprise was woven into my life by Uncle Sam. As a Naval officer, Dad's orders came about every two years.  He might make several location requests but nothing was guaranteed.  Until the orders came it was a destination unknown.   Newport, Rhode Island.  Jacksonville, Florida. Norfolk, Virginia.  Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Through the generations we've enjoyed Destination Unknown.  It's a lifestyle for Christians.  I've had this card posted on a door of our home ever since we moved to Florence to remind me of its truth.
"For I know the plan I have for you
 says the Lord. . .:

God has ordered our steps through life right into eternity. Every day is planned if I choose to follow Him. Planned by Him though sometimes unknown to me.  I haven't always squealed with delight in anticipation. I confess sometimes fear and doubt precede change. Adults like control.  But as I recall our children being delighted children, I understand why they were so happy, even not knowing.

They trusted us.

They knew we loved them.

They knew it would be good

That'll preach!

Lord, help me, as Your beloved child, to simply trust you with childlike faith, knowing You love me and will work all things together for good.



  1. Jason McKnight, Kent's pastor, emailed me Aug 12:


    If I were more savvy, I'd reply on your blog... You gotta know, they are great. Thanks for writing them. I don't have a chance to keep up all the time, but I like to binge once in a while - just did. You are really a great writer, and you frame things so well. Thanks for prodding, feeding and having great word plays. I love those the most.

    Every Blessing,
    Jason (...McKnight, From Kinston, you know, near your 4 cutest grandkids!!)

  2. thanks for reminding me of those - they were fun, although now all I want is a Krispy Kreme, so ...thanks, now the keyboard's all "drooly"!

  3. Your drooling, dear bro, may not be related to the subject matter at hand. Just saying...