“Remember and never forget …”
To read today’s portion of scripture, you can purchase The One Year Bible or find the following in your Bible:
Without fail, whenever my beloved son and my beloved daughter-in-law drive away from our house with my two beloved grandchildren in the backseat, I say the exact same things:
“I love you! Drive carefully. No texting and no driving down 67th.”
The no texting admonition is obvious. But you’d have to live in Marysville to understand why I want them to avoid 67th Ave. On the surface, it looks like a viable option if you’re heading north to Smokey Point. It’s the most direct route, and with few stops. But if you look closer, you’ll notice it’s a 2-lane road with a 55 mph limit (which is largely ignored), has no shoulders at all and for most of the northern section, is flanked on both sides by deep ditches. If a car crossed the center line toward you, you’d have no choice but to take a pretty steep plunge into one of those ditches.
When Gage was just a few months old, and the kids were living in a small apartment behind our house, Brittney knocked on the back door at around 4:30 one morning in a panic. “I’m late to work and don’t have time to drop Gage off at my sister’s,” she said. “Would you mind watching him today?”
Mind? Not ever. I took him from her, told her to drive carefully, and spent the next half hour trying to teach him how to say, “Grandma.” But then we got a phone call. It was Brittney, and she was crying.
In between her sobs, I heard about how she had been halfway down 67th on her way north, and had hit a patch of ice that sent her Jeep spinning off the edge of the road and into a field. The car flipped upside down and stopped about an inch from a telephone pole. She was bruised but otherwise okay, but upset, scared, and horrified. Because during the wild descent, Gage’s car seat (which had been buckled in) flew from the backseat and crashed against the windshield.
We could have lost them both. And all because of 67th Ave.
So because I love them more than my own life, and because I want to see them safely where they’re going, my parting words always include the words, “No driving on 67th.”
Moses loved Israel. And he was about to send them off to the Promised Land—without him. Due to his reckless mischaracterization of God back when he struck the rock at Meribah instead of speaking to it, he had forfeited his chance to step foot in the Promised Land.
Would they continue following God? Would they remember His goodness toward them? Would they fall, as they had so many times before, into idolatry?
With those questions weighing heavily on his heart, Moses spent his last 40 days with the Children of Israel reminding them of all the ways they’ve been loved, and warning them of all the dangerous temptations ahead.
That’s what you do when you’re saying your last words to people you love.