Some “Letter Game” Alternatives for Vacation Travel
Have you played the Letter Game on a long trip? The one where you work your way through the alphabet as you see letters on billboards and road signs?
Ok. I know times have changed. The Letter Game is not so critical now that technology has made it possible for us to play video games, watch movies and work on our computers as we ride.
Hopefully, not while we drive.
There are also long stretches of highway where billboards have been removed to preserve the natural beauty of the landscape.
And to be honest, I don’t think I would want my children reading some of the billboards that do remain.
All the more reason to look for alternatives during this year’s vacation travel. I would like to present the following possibilities with a biblical focus:
Record religious vanity plates and consider or discuss their theological implications. Paul once wrote, “all things are permissible, but not everything is beneficial” (1 Corinthians 10:23). A Christian’s best intentions for a spiritual message on a license plate might not be so beneficial. When you see GDSFVR1, LVN4JC, MIBLSNG or some other rendering of a religious perspective, consider whether it is true and even if there is truth in it, does it benefit the cause of Christ?
Look for cities and towns named after Bible places. Research the reference, and if you have internet access, try to discover why the name was chosen. Some common ones you might find are Lebanon, Goshen, Bethlehem, Shiloh and Salem. Were the names just pulled out of a hat, or do they say something about the people, geography or history of the community?
Identify views that remind you of places or things described in the Bible. Look for “the cattle on a thousand hills” (Psalm 50:10), the cedars of Lebanon (Psalm 92:12), the cleft of the rock (Exodus 33:22) and the “birds of the air” (Matthew 6:26). If you are fortunate, you might even see a rainbow (Genesis 9:13).
Pray for people who are involved in accidents. Many travel horror stories begin with “we got behind an accident.” This may be the most difficult adjustment of all to make, but instead of fuming over a traffic jam, or complaining about the carelessness of other drivers, we might do well to have someone pray for those involved. We can pray for injuries, hardships and those who have made honest mistakes but nevertheless find themselves in trouble with the law. They will possibly be the ones in the back of the State Trooper’s car when you pass by. In humility, thank God for His mercy over you as you travel.
These are merely possibilities. I realize we will be greatly focused on making it to our destination as quickly as possible and without any mishaps. And, of course, there are other things we can pray for, such as the will not to abandon our unruly kids on the side of the road, and that God would help us keep a reign on our tongue when some idiot pulls out in front of us.
I’m sorry. I mean when a motorist makes an ill-advised lane change in our proximity.
Travel is hard, and it is nothing new. We can only imagine what Mary and Joseph said when they realized they had accidentally left their 12-year old Messiah in Jerusalem.
Since we can’t reclaim the time we spend in a vehicle, perhaps we can redeem it.
And remember to “Stay Alive – Drive 55!”
Oh, sorry. Showing my age again.