A Night Drive, or Along the Way to Lost

Last night I was in a mood where I just wanted to go driving and pray and think,
which I haven’t done in a long time (mostly because I had too much
going on).  So around eight in the evening I tossed my bag in the backseat of Sherrie and I started driving.   Where did I go?  It didn’t matter, except that it be someplace unfamiliar, unknown to me and where I was unknown.

I used to do
this sort of thing in high school–I remember one time leaving around midnight  (I wonder what my parents must have thought about their eccentric son?) just
to drive and think, and going up on top of Lookout Mtn. and driving so
far, and turning this way and that, that I almost ran out of gas.  Gas
stations up there are sparse anyway, and none were open at that hour of night.  I got a
little lost on top of it, and was nervous as my fuel tank drew nearer and nearer the glowing “E”–but despite the nervousness, the driving was fun along the way to lost.  I
remembering seeing a possum and missing his little nose by a few inches
as I flew along the night roads then.  At last I prayed and followed
the only car I’d seen all night–the angelic car led me to a swervy road which
took me down off the mountain (so that I might shift into neutral and save gas).  At last, at the
bottom of the mountain I found out that I had traveled into Alabama,
and there stood the highway with a brilliantly glowing all-night gas
station.  So hooray for prayer (smile).

Anyway, last night I wanted to go see some strange roads, so I
took that highway out of Fort O. toward your place, skirting along the
flanks of Lookout Mtn.  I went down even past Old Chatt
Valley Road, then turned up toward the mountain.  I went here and
there, chased a deadend once, then went up the mountain and ran south along
it awhile.  Found a turtle in the road and helped him off.  Found a dog
lying in the road, too, looking around lazily; it was a road that
didn’t see much traffic, so he was fine, I’m sure.  He just watched me with curiosity as I came and went, then came back and went again.  A pretty beast, he
was, a brown lab–made me want a dog.  After driving down southerly roads awhile, without looking back, I decided I should stop and stand overlooking a misty valley below.  Then I came back

I guess I just wanted to get away from everything known for a little while.  Do you ever do that?  Maybe I’m strange that way.  But I will say this: driving along mountain highways at twilight with summer fireflies making magical the air all around you is a good way to pray.

P.S. Rain, rain on.


  1. I do that from time to time.  I did it all the time during my summers at the lake.  It makes me feel restful just remembering it.


  2. Mattyaction says:

    Reminds me of our nonsense trip to Crossville about this time four years ago. Actually, it will be four years on Friday because I was glancing through My Utmost, saw the one titled “Do It Now” and then remembered talking about it all beside that lake. There was a good fog rising off the water to go along with some incredible humidity. Oh, and the cursed Pelican Brief. Good times.


  3. lizapierce says:

    i find myself often times wanting to get away from all that is known. i don’t noramlly enjoy driving though. i did a few weeks ago drive out to Chickamauga and then further, out to Cove Methodist Church, to take a roll of pictures of that church in order to capture one worthy of enlarging in sepia tone and framing for my dad, which was a sucess. anyways, all that to say that i went for a project but ended up really enjoying the long drive as well. it was a beautiful day. it was nice to get away, to get out in the country for a while.


  4. mmm… last time i took a destinationless drive was the day my mom told me about the divorce. i ended up in redbank, all around the bottom of signal, and my hideaway at signal point. rain was my friend that day too… huh, i just remembered that i also met up with you that night… at cafe mi`aroma, remember? i don’t know if i ever thanked you for the encouragment your company brought during that time… so, thanks. *smile* i think i still have that “brainstorming” sheet somewhere… complete with doodles and prayerlists. yeah, that helped me a lot that night…hope your shoulder is okay… heh. thanks for playing hero today. *wink* my mom is something else, ain’t she?


  5. Anonymous says:

    how much gas did you use up?


  6. when i was in Australia..in an outback town by the name of Mt. Isa…some radical christians would go up on the mountain…it was more of a big hill…smiling…they went up there to pray every tuesday from 5:30-6:30…we’d end with communion…the mountain or big hill overlooked the whole city…they had planted a cross on top of that mountain as an altar to God…seven years they’ve been doing that…amazing things were starting to happen…revival…
    all that to say…i ‘ve been wanting to drive around to find a nice place on the side of Signal Mtn…since i live up here now…to overlook the city to pray…can you tell me of some good places?…
    i think it’s so God that “Isa” is the Arabic name for Jesus…Mt. Jesus…amazing!


  7. A week and a half before I was to go on vacation I wanted to just get away so badly that I cried myself to sleep that night.  Vacation was great although I was rarely by myself I was away from the norm which was the change of scenery that I need.   I said all of that to say the drive back from Texas was wonderful I drove the part across Louisiana.  Because the other two were sleeping I did not want to have the music on so I spent that time off and on in prayer as I watched the sunrise in front of me.  Sweet times. 


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