Our cat, Bertha, one of three, loves to walk our circular driveway with us. Actually, she doesn’t just walk. She meows around Charles’s ankles until he picks her up. She cuddles down as if she would ride there in his arms forever. But sometimes before we’ve even gone around a bend she wants down. She enjoys the lift but suddenly leaves the safety of her ride when something more attractive claims her attention–a bird in the grass, a squirrel flirting at the base of a tree.
Years ago I read about hummingbirds who would hitch hike on the backs of Canada geese on their migration to Central America. That would really be trusting! Now I read that hummingbirds hitch hiking on geese is a myth. Then again, maybe not. Who will tell–the goose or the hummingbird?
My brothers, decades ago, used to hitch hike long distances. One brother even hitch hiked from our home in Georgia all the way to Three Hills, Alberta, Canada where he’d be attending Bible college. The boys knew necessary strategies for getting those valuable rides that might take them farther than just the next town: certain places were more likely to entice a truck driver, for instance, using the right body language, and having an eye for the vehicle most likely to offer long distance rides. Once in the vehicle, according to their stories, they engaged the driver in conversation and might ride for hundreds of miles.
I certainly never hitch hiked. It was okay for boys at that time, but not for girls. But I do remember riding a Trailways bus at a time when a passenger, seeing their destination ahead, could pull a cord which gave the driver a signal to stop. He would then let you off anywhere in town or on a country road. I can hear those noisy brakes now and smell the vile exhaust fumes as the big bus growled away. And I remember the perfect peace I experienced as I walked in the wonderful familiar driveway to our home.
Nowadays it is not safe even for boys to hitch hike or to pick up hitch hikers. And there are no buses so casually operated as to let a rider off at their own driveway on a country road. But Bertha, our cat, and sometimes Sassy who is basically not as trusting, will seek that ride around the circle. Cramer is not usually interested in being picked up, much more of an aloof independent soul.
I do wonder sometimes if I’m like Bertha when it comes to trusting God. Do I hop on board and ride for awhile, then find myself distracted and leap away? I’m afraid that far too often I’m the hitch hiker who says no, no, not this road, let me off here. I’ll clamber back on when it suits me. Maybe sometimes I’m like Cramer who would rather make it on his own than trust anyone else. Oh, to be like a hummingbird, myth or not, who trusts completely in his carrier and can take off to unfathomable beauty and experiences!
Words to an old favorite hymn by Edgar Stites ring true:
Simply trusting every day, Trusting through a stormy way; Even when my faith is small, Trusting Jesus that is all.