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The white lines on the road begin to blur as I fight to stay awake...

My mind ponders the words ‘Happy New Year’. I marquee the phrase in white with a black background as I blink to keep the sleep away. My eyes are very heavy as we pass through Effingham, IL. We still have about a two-hour drive and we’ve been driving over six hours today already.

I had never been on this side of a drive before… I was wondering if I could actually finish. My body was tired, my eyelids were heavy, and I didn't know if I could actually make it. I asked myself, should I pull over somewhere and sleep, or should I just keep driving? The white lines on the road begin to blur as I fight to stay awake, wondering if I’ll ever make it home.

Then I ponder the question: is it worth it? I have a child to worry about now, and I wanted to make sure that what I was doing was worth our time and efforts. I wondered if it’s worth spending so little time with my wife? I wondered is it worth it to my kid? I paused, realizing this is a dark path I’m headed down, because I know that this is what God’s plan is for me right now, so why am I considering my options, when serving God is the only one?

Of course, it’s worth it! We are advancing the kingdom, depriving our physical bodies of sleep, putting God first in our lives, and everything else becomes second. I hope this is what my son sees of me. When he starts to get old enough to see how hard his dad works, and he asks why, dad? I can tell him, “Because, I am second.” As Mallory and I ponder our financials, when we remain grateful for everything God has given us, and as we look to tomorrow for hope, we can stand firm on that statement: I am second.

My mind has been restored from thinking about the new year, to the same imaginative marquee. The black background is still there, but the white letters read a new phrase containing one simple word: Hope. Because of who we answer to, we have hope. We don’t do what we do for merit, we choose to do it because it’s our God-given calling.

The drive home was just an obstacle to be overcome. It was a sample size of our lives. Of course, it seemed like we’d never make it home, but the sense of relief occurred as we pulled into our driveway, driving just short of nine hours in one day. As I lay my head on the pillow at 5AM, I realize I had been up for 24 hours straight.

So, when I ask myself that question again: Is it worth it? I can answer yes, simply because of hope.

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