Traveling to ball games, I spend a lot of time in the car, the road stretching endlessly in front of me.
My first year, I drove more than 6,000 work-related miles. After three years, I can find my way to most KCAC and Heart of America schools without even glancing at a map.
Here in Kansas, most of the roads I?ve driven are relatively flat, broken up occasionally by gently rolling hills. Elsewhere, roads take us up steep inclines, around bends or down into valleys.
Roads come in many forms, made of asphalt or gravel or dirt. They can be busy and hectic?leaving us tense and gripping the wheel with white-knuckled hands, or peaceful, quiet, country roads.
Sometimes we cruise without a care in the world. Other times, the road is treacherous and marked with danger, causing us to change our pace.
The roads we travel may be surrounded by sunny skies. Other times, the sky turns dark and menacing.
I?m reminded of the time I drove through torrential rain en route to Nebraska for the NAIA Opening Round baseball tournament last May. With rain falling hard around me, I had to slow down and proceed with caution to find my way through unfamiliar territory.
Sometimes fog closes in as I travel, reducing visibility like a tangible blanket that leaves me feeling isolated and wondering what?s to come.
I once made a tense trip home from Southeast of Saline, never sure what would greet me beyond the reach of my headlights. I saw only enough to keep going, no matter how slowly.
It?s not always easy knowing which way to go, and sometimes I?ve made a wrong turn. I?ve gotten lost while looking for ball fields in places like Cottonwood Falls and Ell-Saline.
In life, we don?t always know what?s around the next bend. Sometimes the road is long and difficult. Painful even. We get tired and weary and may not want to keep going.
But the thing about roads is, we?ve got to keep moving. It does no good to sit in a parked car and wish to be somewhere we?re not. We?ve got to get in and drive, trusting that better things are still to come.
I believe each one of us has access to a ?heavenly GPS? who guides us if we allow him to, sometimes encouraging us, sometimes rerouting us, and sometimes requiring us to make a U-turn, while guiding us to our final destination.
But in order for God to direct us, we must take our foot off the brake and start driving, believing there are better things in store.
A new year is upon us. It?s a time when people pause to consider resolutions and re-chart their course. It?s a time to leave the past behind and look ahead to what?s next.
Where we?re headed is more important than where we?ve been. That?s why a vehicle?s windshield is bigger than its rearview mirror.
I saw a Toyota commercial that inspired me with the wonder of a world full of endless possibilities to explore. It went like this:
?You ever think about how the cement of your driveway connects to the ends of the earth? From roller coaster hills, to musical streets and movie chase scenes. It?s all one road. Everywhere you take it tells your story, and wherever you are is where the road begins.?
Where?s your road headed in 2016? And what story will you write along the way?
Janae Rempel is sports editor at the Free Press. She can be reached at Janae@?hillsboro?freepress.com.