We were on our way to the ACW weekend at Scargill House. I had picked up my friend Helen in good time that morning and we talked non-stop as I drove north on the M1, enjoying catching up after only ‘seeing’ each other on Facebook for the last year.
We decided to stop for coffee at Woolley Edge services. Still plenty to talk about over coffee and cake in Costa.
I knew we needed to join the A1M for a time before coming off at junction 47 for Harrogate. With this in mind, we headed out of the service station.
For some reason we were convinced we were on the A1M and Helen started counting off the junctions. We came to junction 47 and I drove up the slip road. There were no signposts for Harrogate which was puzzling.
After a couple of turns on the roundabout trying in vain to find a sign saying ‘Harrogate’, we decided to get back on the motorway. I was certain we had come too far north by mistake so headed south.
Thank goodness Helen had the map and a clear head. She figured out we were on the wrong road, travelling in the wrong direction, and redirected me.
We laughed over our silly mistake, and carried on chatting about more important things such as writing and faith and family. We eventually arrived safely at Scargill, ready for a great weekend.
Partly as a result of my encouraging (literally putting courage in me) conversations with Helen, I took the plunge that weekend and not only did the writing task set by our speaker Tony Collins but also read out what I had written. Although this was my fourth visit to Scargill, I had never had a go at the writing task before, let alone had the courage to read out something I had written.
We set off for home, determined not to go wrong. After all, we had both been to Scargill several times. How hard could it be?
We made it all the way to the M1 safely.
But so busy were we, chatting and comparing notes of our weekend, we never even saw the junction for Helen’s home in Chesterfield. We overshot by two junctions before realising we’d done it again….
But when I look back on that weekend, I realise it was as much about the journey as it was about the conference. Helen and I shared life’s trials, disappointments and encouragements together in my car and over coffee. There were little triumphs to rejoice over, and niggles to pray in to.
In writing and in life, let’s not rush to get to a destination. The journey is an important part of the process.
This post was first published in the Winter 2016 edition of ACW’s Christian Writer.