Moving from Brisbane to Alice Springs four years ago was a distant memory. Working with predominantly white, middle-upper class kids to working with indigenous kids was what my heart had always wanted to do, but after four years I was extremely comfortable with my home, church, friends and employment- despite the challenges I faced every day at my school in Alice Springs.
Despite my growing reservations and doubts about my future, the stretch of road between Adelaide (South Australia) and Melbourne (Victoria) was the highlight of the trip. It has to be one of the world's greatest drives - The Great Ocean Road. We spent two nights in Adelaide and then headed to Port Fairy, Victoria, some 589 km away.
Heading into our third time zone for the trip was a little confusing and at least gave us something to try and explain to the boys why this happens. Port Fairy is a sleepy little place that comes alive over summer. Beautiful and peaceful, it has a rustic charm which the locals are very proud of. All the buildings are old and sometimes we wish we had extended our trip a little longer to make the most of a peaceful place like this.
The following day didn't come quick enough. It was only around 400km for the day, but we couldn't help ourselves and kept stopping to view the magnificent coastline. And talking about spontaneity, we decided to take the boys up in a helicopter to view The Twelve Apostles. Amazing and breathtaking are only two superlatives to describe what we experienced. The boys loved it and the photos did not do this part of the trip any justice. We have footage of the chopper flight and it is just spectacular. I have watched it twice already.
The travellers in the car and the car itself didn't know what hit it with the hundreds of kilometres of winding roads. Quite a contrast where we were fearful of falling asleep on the hundreds of kilometres of straight roads and then experiencing tight corners and speeding traffic coming right at us. The little seaside towns along the way captured our attention and if it wasn't for being Christmas Eve, we might just have stayed somewhere along the route.
We might not always know where God is taking us. He gives us incredible highs along our journey, spectacular and breathtaking experiences, yet we can still have doubts and insecurities along the way. Where can this journey with God be possibly taking me? We may not necessarily know whether the journey with God is worth it. The "traffic" flies past us and all we might want to do is enjoy the view. We keep ourselves in prison with our past hurts, insecurities, joyless times, depression and addictions. I am sure God would prefer us to live lives full of joy, hope and at peace with Him, ourselves and those around us- yet often we can feel we fail at this every day.
I am glad God gave me the opportunity to see this great land. My worry about not having a job did not go away until twp weeks after our arrival in our new town when God unexpectedly opened the employment door in a market where there were no jobs. We are still living with my parents, but God will lead us to where he wants us to settle. The road may be tough, winding, treacherous and unforgiving, but the anticipation and hope of a better view, and a life walking with the Spirit of God, keeps me going.
Russell Modlin teaches English and Physical Education at a Christian School on the Sunshine Coast. He is married to Belinda and they have three children.
Russell Modlin's archive of previous article can be found at www.pressserviceinternational.org/russell-modlin.html