Religion Today: Route 66
Guest Writer Spotlight: Route 66 – By Richard Lewis
Route 66 was known as the Mother Road or the Main Street of America. It lasted from 1926 to 1985 when it was finally decommissioned, replaced by the Interstate Highway system. The Route inspired songs, movies, a TV series and even this meditation.
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A few years ago I drove my 1967 Citroen automobile the 370 miles from Riverside to Seligman, Arizona for a Route 66 car show event. As I passed Barstow, CA I dropped off the Interstate and onto Historic Route 66. The drive turned out to be a magical time that flooded me with childhood memories.
The section of 2 lane highway was almost deserted and I was transported to another simpler time in my life. I recalled the family vacations that we went on when I was a kid. I remembered what it was like when I held my hand out the car window of the un-air conditioned car and felt the air rush past and it made you feel like you could fly.
Lake-like mirages shimmered on the road surface and made it look like it was covered with water but the water always seemed to stay just beyond the reach of my car.
I used almost all 29 of my car’s horsepower to race a train that was struggling up the grade only a few yards off to the side of the highway. There were some potholes and rough pavement in places and I had to cut my speed to under 20MPH but there was no one there to honk or complain.
The clouds and the mountains on the horizon looked bigger and more beautiful at 45MPH. Unlike today’s highways, the road dipped up and down through the many desert washes along the route. I remembered my Dad speeding up the family Oldsmobile so it would zoom down to the bottom of the washes and then almost leave the ground as it crested the other side. All the while my sister and I would be making “Whoa” noises like we were on a roller coaster.
Then there were the Burma Shave signs and their driver safety messages, like “If Daisies are your favorite flower, just keep pushing up those miles per hour, Burma Shave” and “You can drive a mile a minute but there is no future in it, Burma Shave”.
Yes, there was a flood of childhood memories. I recalled on one of these road trips my Dad telling me how he had come to embrace Jesus Christ early in his life at a tent revival meeting outside his hometown and I recalled my Dad recommitting his life to Jesus Christ at a Christian Conference we attended together. I recalled my embracing Jesus in faith when I was about 20 years old and being baptized in a small church in Phoenix, Arizona. Lots of wonderful memories…
I guess I have always hoped that I would eventually get my life on sort of a Spiritual Interstate where I could just set the cruise control at 70MPH and sit back and relax. The road would be glassy smooth and I would sit in the lap of luxury in my Corinthian leather seats with music from my surround sound stereo.
There would never be any temptations, sin, bumps or bruises in my life. I would be insulated by all of my creature comforts from the outside world and its needs and suffering. The climate control system would make it very comfortable so I would be neither too hot nor too cold but comfortably lukewarm.
This wonderful world of spiritual and physical perfection would only be interrupted by an occasional call on my hands free, permanently charged cell phone with news that my cholesterol and blood pressure are down, my job is secure, a bonus check is in the mail, my investments and 401K are way up in value and that my wife, kids and grandkids are healthy and not sick with colds, flu or pink eye.
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But God has something a bit different in mind. He prefers my life, to be a slow and simple daily walk of faith. A trip that is much like Route 66 with its twists, turns, ups, downs and rough pavement. It will be a life where layoffs are eminent, 401Ks are not always going up and one where the grandkids sometimes have runny noses, pink eye or worse. It will be a simple and slow walk where I am not going too fast to reach out and help others along the way and point them to the Savior who has redeemed me. It will be a life where I am asking God for my daily bread and not my monthly bread or my yearly bread.
Matthew 6:9-13 “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”
Richard Lewis is a graduate of Arizona State University (Advertising) and California Baptist University (Computer Information Systems). Richard and his wife Sue met while they served as staff members at Campus Crusade for Christ for 8 years in the 1970’s. Richard served in the Campus Ministry at University of Texas at El Paso, Louisiana Tech and at the International Headquarters in San Bernardino, California.
Following their ministry in Campus Crusade Richard was the owner and manager of a bicycle shop in Riverside California for 19 years. After retraining in the computer field at California Baptist University, Richard worked as a Information Systems contractor and employee at Boeing for 17 years. Richard has written over 150 published articles in Information Systems and Computing publications including Windows Magazine and Windows Scripting Solutions. Richard has served in a leadership role as a Deacon and Elder in several churches as well as being a meditation presenter and Men’s Ministry coordinator.
Richard has written hundreds of meditations and devotionals that have been used in church and small group meetings. Many of these have been published in The Upper Room and Racers For Christ publications and on their web sites.
In 2021 Richard published a collection of his devotionals. These are available in a Kindle and paperback format on Amazon (ISBN 979-8705738878) “Life Stories to Uplift and Encourage”.
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Trevor Montgomery, 50, moved in 2017 to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source (RCNS) and Shasta County News Source (SCNS).
Additionally, he writes or has written for several other news organizations; including Riverside County-based newspapers Valley News, Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; the Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County; and Mountain Echo in Shasta County. He is also a regular contributor to Thin Blue Line TV and Law Enforcement News Network and has had his stories featured on news stations throughout the Southern California and North State regions.
Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)
During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.
Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.
Trevor has been married for more than 30 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 18 grandchildren.