The Best Way to Get Ahead in Life

September 14, 2011 | 12 comments

I’m northbound, when this refuge beckons. It’s a six-person House of God, streaming colored light through little windows. 

I ask myself two questions:

Do I really have time to stop? 

Can I really afford not to stop?

I take a detour from my 60-mile-per-hour life, and pull onto the roadside driveway of a wee chapel in an Iowa cornfield. Because every heart on pilgrimage needs rest stops on the journey home.

I’m still miles from home, and I have appointments on the calendar, but I stop anyhow, because I want to get a better glimpse of my destination.

And I’m thinking that the best way to really get ahead in life is to stop moving altogether.

I turn off the ignition, and move toward stillness. I turn the knob of a creaky wooden door and peek inside. I’m looking for instructions here on the best way home. Does anyone know the best way home?

I’ve been in this place before, where the Bible is always spread open and the light is always on.

I stopped last fall, as a weary traveler in need of a respite from my interstate-speed life.

Funny, how life repeats itself. Is this a rerun of a past episode? Did someone just hit rewind on my life? And can I please, please hit the pause button right here, and stay rooted in these spirit-calming verses spread open on the altar?

I bow low, bent, dropping my forehead onto His Word to pray. Life moves fast, Lord. Will You grab the reins, tugging me closer to You?

I’m in a different place than I was a year ago … at least I think so. I hope?

Am I different, God? I ask Him. Have I grown?

Eleven months have passed since I last stopped here. In the guest book, I find my signature, 28 pages back, and a lot of life has spun ’round in the last 337 days.

The guy who signed in after me last October reminds the weary traveler: “There might not be a tomorrow.”

What if I really am closer to Home than I think?

I don’t know how far I’ve got to go, but I’ve moved forward and — I pray — closer to Him, with a more restful spirit.

“Make Yourself my all-consuming passion,” I pray.

I flip the pages on the altar Bible, search the Scriptures, and these words are the ones I find:

“And ye shall seek me and find me when ye shall search for me with all your heart.” — Jeremiah 29:13

Before I go, I grab the pen, inking my place here on this rest stop. I leave the light on for the next weary sojourner.

I step into my car to head home, but I’ve already found my way home.

And He really is my Way home.

A repost from the archives … one year ago.

by | September 14, 2011 | 12 comments


  1. debra

    Love this. Oh how there are days I need this quiet space … love you.

  2. floyd

    If I didn’t already know the Way, I’d be asking you for directions. This is a little like the break you described in yourself for me. Thanks, I needed to stop and ponder where I’m at in this busy life. Glad to meet you here, at the foot of the cross…

  3. S. Etole

    I like that it is a place where the light is always on.

  4. Duane Scott

    What were you doing all the way down in Davenport area? You must have drove right past me. 🙂

  5. Jennifer@Adam's Rib

    I remember you stopping in here a year ago. Just the thought of a roadside chapel for the road weary is so beautiful. Too many days, I need to throw the apron over my head for a few minutes with the one who must consume me if I am to live.

  6. Gramma T

    I wish our little country church could be left open like it was for weary travelers. It seems sad to me that we have to lock doors to keep people out of Gods house. I know I do have the keys to His kingdom though and that is what counts right?

  7. Megan Willome

    What a grace!

    There’s a Lutheran church about 12 miles out of town that I like to bike to. It’s the oldest church in the county, with a graveyard beside it. Those last two years of my mom’s life, that was the only church I ever peeked inside, and only when it was empty. One of the parishoners told me, “Oh, we never lock it.”

  8. Patricia

    Love your photos…
    I can remember a Wayside Chapel near where I grew up… always wished I could go inside. I imagine that book is quite an interesting read. I’m glad you stopped and shared it with us.

  9. David Rupert

    Great ministry this place provides! I’m a guy who always stops at the scenic overlooks. Drives my family crazy!

  10. laura

    This reminds me that I need a little break from my 60 mph (or thereabouts :)) life. Keeping my eyes open to the pitt stops He provides for me today. Thank you, Jennifer.

  11. Bradley J. Moore

    Awesome, Jennifer. I felt like I was on this little side-trip right along with you. Your photos and words have such a wonderful way of drawing us in…

    And, most important, you have stopped me in my tracks: Why don’t I take the time to stop more often for a little side-trip? Who knows what I’m missing.

  12. Justin

    Is this the Chapel out on 75 north of Sioux Center? I love that place. It’s been forever since I’ve been there, but I love that it’s still there after all these years.


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