Excerpt for Life Is a Highway - Advice and Reflections On Navigating the Road of Life by , available in its entirety at Smashwords


Advice and Reflections On Navigating the Road of Life


Tracy Krauss

Fictitious Ink Publishing

Tumbler Ridge, BC


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Life Is A Highway: Advice and Reflections On Navigating the Road of Life by Tracy Krauss

Published by Fictitious Ink Publishing

Tumbler Ridge, BC

V0C 2W0

Copyright© 2013 Tracy Krauss.

Smashwords Edition, License Notes

This  e-book is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This e-book may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to Smashwords.com and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

Website: tracykrauss.com

ISBN: 978-1491223741 / 149122374X

Cover photo courtesy of Gerald Krauss: Alaska Highway near Teslin, Yukon

Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

The Road Not Taken’ by Robert Frost, 1916

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Luke 24: 32 - "And they said to one another, 'Were not our hearts burning within us while He was speaking to us on the road, while He was explaining the scriptures to us?"


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Let’s Take a Road Trip

Have you ever taken a road trip? Of course you have! Where I live, distance between towns is a given, and the terrain is rugged. There are lots of curves, steep drop offs, and narrow spots with barely any shoulders. Wildlife is abundant, and you always have to be alert, especially at twilight. Add to that icy or snowy conditions in the winter, and it’s no wonder my husband thinks I’m a nervous passenger!

Sometimes we may encounter unexpected things along the way – road blocks, construction, or check points. There are times when the drive seems tedious and we just wish we could hurry up and get where we’re going. (Who has ever heard the plaintive cry from the back seat, “Are we there yet?”) And then there are times when we purposely detour, perhaps to do a little sightseeing.

In this book, I’d like to compare life’s journey to a road trip. A lot of what I’m going to share comes from my personal experience as a Christian over the past thirty years. I’m also going to be using a few ‘road trip’ passages from the Bible. Life really is a highway - and if you’re hearing Tom Cochrane in your head right now, that’s okay! Luke 24: 32 says, “Were not our hearts burning within us while He was speaking to us on the road?” I hope this is your experience – that God’s words are burning within you on this journey we call life.

Chapter One

Lessons From A Famous Highway

I’d like to introduce you to a very famous stretch of road that I am particularly familiar with. It’s called the Alaska Highway. Perhaps you’ve heard of it. The Alaska Highway has truly become the lifeline for much of northern BC, the Yukon and Alaska. This historic thoroughfare has played a significant role in my personal life as well. I've lived in three different locations along the highway and I've traveled its entire length from mile '0' at Dawson Creek to the official end at Delta Junction. Of course, I've traveled various sections quite frequently and I have lots of stories about my adventures along the way.

Here are a few tidbits about the Alaska Highway. It was constructed during World War Two for the purpose of connecting the ‘lower 48’ US states with Alaska. Of course, if you know anything about the history of WW II, the US came into the war after the bombing of Pearl Harbour by the Japanese, and if you look at a map of the world, you’ll see that Alaska itself, especially the islands known as the Aleutian Islands, are very close to Japan. A potential Japanese invasion of North America was a real threat and the US saw the need for an air base where they could quickly deploy fighter craft if they needed to defend NA from a Japanese invasion. The US started the construction in March of 1942 and they finished it in an amazing eight months. (It was officially opened in Oct. of 1942.)

Now just think about that. We’re talking about 2700 km or 1400 miles with 1942 technology and equipment through bogs, permafrost, mountains, and over huge rivers. It’s interesting how necessity is such a strong motivator. It is a testament to perseverance, tenacity, and strength of will.

The highway itself stretches from Dawson Creek, and officially ends in Delta Junction, Alaska, where it then hooks up with another highway to Fairbanks, a huge military town. Sometime after the war ended the Canadian government took over the ownership and maintenance of the Canadian portions of the highway, and it has since been upgraded and shortened. No more gravel! It is no longer the treacherous journey that it once was, although there are still some pretty winding, narrow parts.

Despite that fact, we’ve seen people driving up the highway with various emergency items strapped to their roofs - ‘Jerry’ cans full of gas, spare tires and the like. It’s always good for a laugh. One group of travelers were told that there were no bank machines once you got north of the US border, so they brought thousands of dollars in cash! Obviously their information wasn’t that current since there are plenty of gas stations along the way, we actually have automated banking here, and it’s not the rough gravel that it once was. It just goes to show that you shouldn’t believe everything you hear.

I’ve lived in three Alaska Highway communities: Dawson Creek, Fort St. John, and Watson Lake - the home of the world famous ‘Signpost Forest’. The story goes that a lonely American soldier put up a sign with his hometown’s name on it and its distance, then pointed it in a southerly direction. It caught on with more soldiers and subsequently tourists. The last count in 2010 said there were 76,000 signs. (I wonder who actually counted them.) There are signs posted from all over the world. It makes me realize that wherever you’re going in life, you’ve also come from somewhere. Sometimes our past can get in the way of moving forward, but just like those signs posted in the forest, acknowledge your history but keep moving toward your destination.

There are spots on the Alaska Highway, especially in northern BC and the Yukon, that are, in my opinion, the most scenic places in North America. I have one particular ‘aha’ moment from a trip to Alaska that I want to share. It’s one of those moments that I often think about because it truly reminds me of the splendour and majesty of God.

We were traveling from Fairbanks to Anchorage through Denali National Park and I saw Mt. McKinley – (Denali) – from a distance for the first time. If you don’t know, Mt. McKinley is the tallest mountain in North America and the third tallest mountain in the world next to Mt. Everest and a mountain in Argentina called Acongacua.

When I think of that image, even now, it sends shivers up my spine. Imagine the highest mountain you’ve ever seen, maybe in the Rockies, for example. Now imagine approaching that mountain range from a distance, the whole range spread out before you. Then you see this one mountain just sticking up – twice the size of the rest. It’s totally white because it’s covered in snow and you’re almost not sure if you’re really seeing things right. In fact, my husband and I looked at one other and said, “What is that? Clouds?” And then we realized it was a mountain, literally towering over every other mountain, which are all really big. The sense of awe was palpable. It was almost frightening.

This is just a small measure of what our God is like. We need to stand in awe of Him – in holy fear – because He is so much bigger than we could ever imagine. This is the God I want to talk to you about in this book. The amazing, omnipotent Creator who is so much bigger than we can ever imagine. Yet, His desire is to walk beside us on life’s journey.


1. Think of a time in your life when you had to ‘push through’ despite overwhelming odds.

2. Have you ever been awe struck by the magnitude of God’s power and beauty?

Chapter Two

On the Road To Emmaus

Let’s look at a road trip from the Bible that has a lot of applicable life lessons. It is the story of two men walking on the road from Jerusalem to a town called Emmaus shortly after Jesus' crucifixion. It can be found in the book of Luke, Chapter 24, verses 13 through 35. In it, Cleopas and his friend meet up with Jesus, although they don't realize it's Him at first, and discuss with Him the latest news of the day, namely His own death. You will see that many of the lessons learned by those men of old are relevant for us today as we journey through this life.

Lesson 1: God is with us during our everyday experiences.

Luke 24: 13 – 15: And behold, two of them were going that very day to a village named Emmaus, which was about seven miles from Jerusalem. And they were conversing with each other about all these things which had taken place. And it came about that while they were conversing and discussing, Jesus Himself approached and began travelling with them.

Jesus meets with us where we’re at. Sure he can meet us during the ‘big events’ too, but more often than not, He wants to meet with us during our day to day life. These two were on a road trip, travelling from Jerusalem to Emmaus, which was about seven miles. That doesn’t seem like much except for the fact that they were walking. I don’t how long it would take you to walk seven miles, but that’s a long trip! While they walked, they were talking about the latest ‘news’, namely Jesus’ own crucifixion.

I want you to think for a moment about times in your life when God met with you in simple, everyday ways. We tend to over look these moments, but I believe that God can speak to us profoundly through our everyday experiences. I’ll go into more details on this point in a future chapter.

Lesson 2: Sometimes we don’t recognize God’s hand until after the fact.

Luke 24: 16-18 But their eyes were prevented from recognizing Him. And He said to them, “What are these words that you are exchanging with one another as you are walking?” And they stood still, looking sad. And one of them, named Cleopas, answered and said to Him, “Are you the only one visiting Jerusalem unaware of the things which have happened here in these days?”

Sometimes, like Cleopas and his friend, we don’t recognize God until later. In this passage it says they were prevented from recognizing Him, obviously for a greater purpose later on. However, we often choose not to recognize God’s hand in our lives. Instead we focus intently on the circumstances, which can be so overwhelming that we can’t believe God would have a hand in it.

Lesson 3: God's agenda isn't our agenda - learn to trust His timing and His plans.

Luke 24: 19-21: And He said to them, “What things?” And they said to Him, “The things about Jesus the Nazarene who was a prophet, mighty in deed and word in the sight of God and all the people, and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered Him up to the sentence of death, and crucified Him. But we were hoping that it was He who was going to redeem Israel. Indeed, besides all this, it is the third day since these things happened.

Can’t you just hear the disappointment? Have you ever felt that way – ‘disappointed’ in God? We all have our own agenda - our own hopes and expectations about how life should go. This includes our marriage, job, children - even how life should be once we accept Jesus. Here’s a wake up call. More often than not, our agenda isn’t the same as God’s.

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