I grew up within a Christian community that took the Lord’s name very seriously. Any expression of surprise or disgust that used God’s name was regarded as being strictly forbidden. While foul language was sometimes tolerated within these circles, any use of God’s name would bring swift action. Some people went so far as to ban any derivates (or supposed derivates) of God’s name, such as “oh my gosh,” “oh my goodness,” “geez,” “golly” and the like. Because of the gravity that was placed on the name of God, I grew to think that the term “godspeed” was also inappropriate.
But it is not. Godspeed, according to wikipedia, is “a term used to express respect and good will when addressing someone, typically someone about to go on a journey or a daring endeavor.” Of course it is also “a ship that was captained by Christopher Newport, “a Canadian progressive rock band,” “is a science fiction novel by Charles Sheffield,” and a surname. But I digress.
The word was used in the English language as far back as The Pilgrim’s Progress where Bunyan wrote, “Evangelist, after he had kissed him, gave him one smile, and bid him God-speed. So he went on with haste…” The phrase is a nominalization, a shortening, of the phrase, “God speed you.” And as such it is a phrase wishing a person God’s blessings as they travel.
This morning I would ask that pray Godspeed on my behalf. We are traveling today, driving from Toronto all the way down to Atlanta. According to Mapquest that is a drive of 892 miles and will likely take us somewhere around sixteen hours. And that is with two young children who surely are not going to sit nicely for that long, good children though they are. And as always, it is not the drive that makes me wary as much as the tens of thousands of drivers I will pass on the way through Ontario, New York, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee and Georgia.
Now normally I do not announce when I am away from the house, as that seems fool-hardy. But this time we have house-sitters, so it’s not like the house will be empty. Plus our really-quite-vicious dog is staying back to guard the place. Good thing, too, as I suspect she wouldn’t do too well in the car for sixteen hours.
Anyways, next week I will be having a working vacation in Atlanta. Working because I’m going to be keeping pretty busy with various work-related activities, and vacation because I’ll be away from home and there will be plenty of parents, siblings and siblings-in-law to take care of the kiddies, and to allow my wife and myself time to escape for the occasional date and dinner. And of course I’ll be blogging because I am a hopeless addict (and I don’t want to break that 526-day blogging streak)…