“It is eleven days’ journey from Horeb by way of Mount Seir to Kadesh Barnea.” Deuteronomy 1:2
My husband is notorious for adventures in traveling. He greatly prefers scenic back roads and the paths least traveled. To adults, that can be a relaxing way to spend a day. To a kid, not so much. While all of our children were excellent travelers, their patience had its limits. On one trip home to Austin from from Grandma’s house in Houston, Dad decided to take the backroads. When we turned off the main road, he announced we were going to take a short cut home. As time and miles passed, so did patience. Finally, middle child asked, “Dad, did you take the long cut?”
That’s probably how the Israelites felt as Moses spoke to them going into the Promised Land. Forty years after they began their journey, Moses announces, “It is eleven days’ journey by way of Mount Seir to Kadesh Barnea.” - the most direct route from where they were to where they were going. Great. Now he tells them. But, the Lord wanted them to take the long cut so that all of those who were unfaithful would die out along the way and the new generation would receive the promises.
I tremble to make the comparison between a legislative session and the Israelites wandering in the wilderness. Work with me. I’m not
trying to imply there is a Promised Land at the the end of the session. We are 64 days into the session and we have passed (let me do the math)- uh, one bill. It is true we spent two whole days on it. It is also true that it was passed with a scenario that makes it almost certain to die in limbo because the House and Senate are in a standoff as to which version of the bill should prevail. (Technically nothing has really passed, but we all had our press conferences and patted ourselves on the back.)
So, we are six days away from the half-way mark. Seventy-six days to complete the budget, re-districting, and sunset reviews of TxDOT, the Department of Insurance and various other agencies. Oh, and there are another 7,320 bills that have been filed for our consideration. Rumors of special sessions are already beginning to circulate.
From the back seat, it is beginning to feel like we are taking a long cut.
I suppose my husband’s example might work in this environment, too. Instead of worrying about the time in the car, I guess I’ll just focus on the scenery that is passing by.
Lord, help us to learn the lessons you have for us while we are on this journey so that we do not have to repeat them again in the future. Amen