School is out and summer is here. For me this means lots of time spent on the road traveling to various places. Yes I enjoy road trips! The best thing about road trips are all the great things to see and places to visit before arriving to your destination; coming and going. My road trips vary from year to year however it will always include attending my family reunion.

A few summers ago we packed up the car and headed to Geneva, Alabama. It was my brother, daughter and three nephews. Our family reunions have taken place each year for the past 100 years and I’ve attended for the majority of my life. In years past as we drove to our family reunions we would just drive straight through from Maryland to Alabama. However, this time I wanted it to be different. Since the trip is a little over 900 miles from where I lived in Maryland I decided to make two stops for activities. This would allow us to stretch our legs, eat, use the restroom and have some FUN!

I researched and researched for weeks looking for the perfect activity that none of us had ever done before. There were many theme parks, go kart tracks, skating rinks and several activities that were fun but many of them we could do in Maryland. After weeks of searching I finally found it. According to the website this activity was adventurous, exciting and new to us all. I knew that we would enjoy the wild cave expedition at the Raccoon Mountain Caverns in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The site advertised it as their “famous, “get muddy” tours which required participants to wear gloves, pads, lights and helmets” while exploring the inside of a cave.

As we pulled into the parking space we were all excited to get inside this cave but first we had to change into the proper gear for our 90 minute guided adventure. We put on our waterproof boots, pants and sweatshirts. It was hot outside but only 60 degrees inside the cave. After changing we were ready to go. We walked down several steps and came to a 10 inch opening in the rocks. There was no where to go but to crawl through. “Let’s go,” our tour guide said with excitement and ease as he crawled on his belly through the slit in the rock. The kids followed with no hesitation. Me on the other hand was just a little bit nervous. I didn’t want to go through that teeny tiny space. Could I fit through there? What’s on the other side? Were just a few thoughts running through my mind. Everyone had already gone through the “hole” in the rock and I was still standing on the other side. I could either get left behind and go back up the stairs to wait for everyone else to come out and tell me about their experience or I could have my own experience and good time to share with others. I looked, cringe and followed suit. On the other side was the beauty of the inside of the earth. We had ventured approximately 100 feet below the ground. We crawled, we slid down muddy hills, we walked alongside and in puddles of water, we climbed, we even took time out to relax and sit down. We learned so much about the formation of the different rocks as well as the type of rocks. What an exciting adventure that we all still talk about till this day. I enjoyed every single moment the mud and all. What an experience!

In Matthew 4:19 Jesus tells those who were listening to him to follow him. They had no idea what they were getting into nor did they know what it would bring to pass. Some of them followed but some didn’t. If you haven’t started your adventure with Jesus then now is the time. Knowing Jesus is an experience that will require you to follow His every move. Just listening to someone else’s experience is not enough.

Following Jesus is like my cave adventure. There are times that we have to crawl, times that we have to relax and times that we will get muddy. With each step in life I’ve learned to make the most of it; to learn and to grow. Don’t miss out on the adventure. #LivingTheLife


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