The Sidney Sun-Telegraph - Serving proudly since 1873 as the beautiful Nebraska Panhandle's first newspaper

By Jim Gerhold
Christian Life Center 

Exit 180


It was spring and four young graduates decided that before they would settle down into life’s new adventure, they would tour the country. Their goal was to interview people as to their values on life itself. They discovered an RV that suited their needs and off they went looking, each one of them for a story that would inspire, excite or ignite their passion for what the future would hold for them. They were determined that this would be their adventure of a lifetime before they would go and make their fortune and their mark in life.

Fifteen thousand miles, hundreds of interviews and memory pegs of being together, the driver took an unexpected turn off the main road. They pulled in behind an 18-wheeler, finding its driver standing skipping rocks across a small stream. He seemed unfriendly at first as he didn’t give them much attention. A few questions were asked and the answer would literally rock their world for a lifetime.

The trucker shared with them that he had just lost his wife of almost 40 years. Yesterday was the funeral for her as he continued to tell them about his grief and turmoil with her loss. He went on to tell them for 35 years, “I’ve driven by Exit 180 without stopping. I decided this once to exit the freeway.” His wife, each time that she would ride with him, encouraged him check out this place that looked so inviting. They could have enjoyed this place together he went on to tell them. If only they had stopped and enjoyed this together, what memory pegs could have been there.

Unfortunately there were other places he didn’t have time for as well. They missed a few places along life’s roadsides and highways that never will be possible now. The four young men listened carefully to this powerful lesson in life. With the impact of this one man’s story, they all decided that they did not want it to be their story. The man told them, they have a choice everyday as they will live their lives. Hit it very hard and heavy about taking the time in building relationships and memories that will last.

We do not know of what the future will bring to us. The “what ifs” that we will face. As we go into the new year, let’s take time for the “what ifs” and make some memories that will out last us. The Bible tells us in James 4:14 (MSG), “You don’t know the first thing about tomorrow. You’re nothing but a wisp of fog, catching a brief bit of sun before disappearing.” The NIV states it this way. “You don’t even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? It is a mist that appears for a little while. Then it disappears.” The Bible compares our life to a mist or fog that has limited time on earth and then eternity. Use it wisely, carefully and with purpose.

Again as we enter into the new year, choose well and look for those out of the way places where you need to “Exit 180” and take time for each other, build a memory peg or two, and keep that relationship strong.

We would love to invite you to Christian Life Center, 1132 6th Ave., Sidney, any Sunday morning at 10 a.m. as we worship together. We too are traveling down life’s highway looking for “Exit 180.” I wish God’s richest blessings to you today.

Jim Gerhold

Christian Life Center


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