New Year’s Classic: A Traveler’s Log

I have been noted to have said that one of the best things about Bible Quizzing was the trips. To be sure, I am noticing (particularly when preaching) that the Scripture I have logged is incredible. Further, I think Scripture memorization is a great thing and we don’t appreciate the freedom we have to do so in this country enough (I have a great ice-breaker game for this, but I digress). I will say, though, that I believe it is not good for us to be alone. Therefore, the best thing we can take with us from this world are friendships.

Having lived just over 20 years, I have had many opportunities to meet people. And while a quick survey of those who live near me in the PCC dorms shows that they have found their most lasting friendships to be made in college, I feel it was done for me in high school. You see friendships are often catapulted by many people living in tight spaces. Most people experience this in college. I had the privilege of doing it in high school.

Living in South Florida means that if we want to go to any tournament, travel is essential. The FQA events were not that bad, as they were only 4-5 hours. But the big invitationals were long trips. It is a 12-hour trip to get to Athens. To me, this was the standard bearer. First, it was the first tournament of the year. (I know there is some controversy over which tournament is first, but there is no controversy as to what is the most recognized event). It is so early in the year that we were still in Christmas break at school. We got to spend the whole school “break” working on Scripture and take a trip with friends before the drudgery of school reconvened.

Now, let’s focus on the trip itself. 80% of the trip up was focused on quoting. We had to go through our whole section at least twice (more times for those, like me, who had shorter sections). This was not the most joyous of times, but it was a chance to get prepared. The trip back, however, was a slice of heaven. I can honestly say that the most joyous points of my life were those 13 hour car trips back from Athens, when we pulled over to let Phil use the bathroom. No one will ever forget the time Miss Phillips chipped her fingernail at a gas station sock football game.

You see we realized that knowing Scripture was important, but we also felt it wasn’t complete unless we poured it into each other. Every Athens trip we found at least one gas station vagrant we witnessed to, prayed for, helped find a new home, and ultimately kept up with for the rest of the year. At least three of them were saved due to God’s work through our efforts. All are now gainfully employed. We decided that trip was the time we would start our year with a team representative that God would show us. We always found him on the trip.

The miles of pavement were endless fun. While I drive a lot now to (among other things) preach at my new church in Arkansas, I have never felt the Spirit of the Lord more freely than on those quizzing trips. I think it boils down to something a wise reverend once said. If you do bad, you will always be by yourself. If you do good, however, you cannot possibly be alone. To spread the love of God there MUST be a recipient. Somehow, I long for those days of traveling to Athens, GA where the recipients were plentiful and the good times never ended.

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