We were yet to embark on the longest road trip of our life, but not as long as the road trip we took from California to Colorado which was roughly about 13 hours. Oh no, this road trip was much shorter than that, it was going to be 5 hours and 44 minutes. At least that’s what Google maps told us. We were road tripping from Los Angeles to Sacramento for Chris Tomlin’s Worship Night in America that was going to be held at the Sleep Train Arena.
Now for those of you who don’t know what Worship Night in America is, it’s an event hosted by Christian contemporary singer Chris Tomlin, who has sold over 10 albums and won three Billboard Music Awards. Worship Night in America began in 2015 as Chris Tomlin had a plan of bringing together the body of Christ to unite as a whole through worship and prayer. Chris Tomlin hoped that this event would bring people to do what matters most, and that is worship the Lord and unite the country in prayer. The event was to have a fantastic lineup of Christian musicians such as Matt Maher, who is a contemporary Christian musician, Kari Jobe, Israel Houghton, Matt Redman, who is an English Christian singer and known for his hit singles “You Never Let Go” and “10,000 Reasons”. Moreover, contemporary Christian singer Phil Wickham was scheduled to perform who is known for his noteworthy singles “This is Amazing Grace” and “The Secret Place” and lastly, Northern Irish Christian folk worship band Rend Collective who is known for their catchy singles such as “Build Your Kingdom Here” and “My Lighthouse”. Furthermore, there was going to be guest speakers such as Max Lucado, who is a Christian author and preacher at a church in San Antonio, Texas called Oak Hills Church and Louie Giglio who is a pastor at Passion City Church in Atlanta, Georgia.
Personally, I’m never familiar with these concerts that we attend, as our older sister is always the one that happens to find them. So from our home in Pasadena, my family and I embarked on the I-210 W and headed for signs that read I-5 N/ Golden State Freeway towards Sacramento. We were on the I-5 for most of our time. Suddenly we realized that we had departed from the familiar city life and instead seemed like we were stranded in the middle of nowhere as our eyes beheld lots and lots of yellow fields. It seemed strange to us city girls as we weren’t use to this site and being away from the city life felt at peace. We were away from the usual honking and the hustle and bustle, but instead, we passed by a field where time seemed to stop and the azure skies were clearly in sight. Soon we were low on gas and had to make a pit stop to fill our gas tank at the closest 76 gas station. While our mom filled the gas tank, my sisters and I decided to stretch our legs for a bit, and use the bathroom as nature was calling. After stretching our legs for a bit, we headed back to the car where our mom waited for us, I then took in the view around me, and realized that though we were surrounded by yellow fields – I didn’t really see myself living here. I guess I had grown so accustomed to the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles that naturally, the city life called to me.
We then continued on the I-5 for the next two hours and were yet surprised at how the scenery amongst us had changed. Sure we were on the freeway and there were fields and several plains along the way, but there was also farm life. Now I’m not one who has a good sense of smell, but my older sister said that the cows smelled. Suddenly our stomachs came to life as they growled letting us know about their impending hunger. It was a relief that we kept seeing signs for McDonald’s, IHOP, Denny’s and Subways – thus letting us know of our options. My sisters and I hadn’t eaten McDonald’s for 8 years, and today wasn’t the day we were going to begin. So we settled on eating Denny’s. When we got to the diner, we noticed that there were cars that had license plates from different parts of the United States. Some cars had license plates from Colorado, Georgia, Washington and Texas. There were also lots of people at Denny’s and we had to wait for several minutes before we got attended. All of us ended up picking from the $6 menu and settled on the Southwest Turkey Sandwich with a cup of soup. After eating our meal, we embarked back on the road. One thing to know about road trips is that you have to be in the car with people for a long time. At first, that can be a beautiful thing, as you chat and talk amongst each other, but suddenly annoyance and frustration meet you where you’re at; and the people that you were happy with for one moment, can find annoying the next.
Our trip that was to take 5 hours turned out to be a trip that took 8 hours due to the pit stops we made along the way. We arrived at the Hilton Hotel where we had made reservations for the night. We checked in, put our luggage down and decided to explore Sacramento with a few hours to spare before the concert started.
With that, my family and I decided to check out the State Capitol. Before the state capitol was settled in Sacramento, California. It was first set in San Jose. However, the people weren’t too fond of the idea and in 1851 the capitol was moved to Vallejo. Once again, there were cries from the townspeople to relocate the state capitol to a different location. In 1853 a bill was passed which stated that the state capital was to be in Benicia which is located near the San Francisco Bay Area. Even though the legislative quarters were perfect, the location of Benicia was one that was too tiny to be used as a state capital. From there, in February 1854, the state capitol was moved over to Sacramento.
We found ourselves taking in the view before us as we saw the white building in all its majesty. From there, we proceeded to walk inside the State Capitol and our eyes continued to take in the view. The interior and design of the state capitol is one that is quite interesting. There are columns and dark red curtains that are drawn for privacy. The ceiling architecture is truly eye beholding as one looks up and there’s a rotunda, which is a round building with a dome. My sisters and I continued to explore the rooms where the stairs reminded us of a castle. As we walked the carpeted stairs, we couldn’t help but feel classy like Mia Thermopolis from the movie “The Princess Diaries.” After we were done walking around the State Capitol, we decided to grab something to eat, and head over to the Sleep Train Arena.
The Sleep Train Arena has the capacity of being able to house over 10,333 seats. The fact that they rented out this place, meant that Chris Tomlin probably planned to pack the house. Our tickets stated that the doors would open at 6:30 and the concert started at 7:00. We waited in line and made our way to the arena like a sluggish snail. Shortly thereafter, we found our seats and had 15 minutes to spare before the concert started. Finally, the lights dimmed, indicating that the concert was about to begin. Soon everyone worshiped and praised the Lord as they all sang in one unified voice, and lifted their hands. After a couple of performances from Rend Collective, Matt Mahler, and Israel Houghton. Phil Wickham took the stage, followed by Kari Jobe. Then Chris Tomlin came on stage and led worship. Thereafter, Louie Giglio took the stage and presented the gospel to those in the audience (as they often do, in Christian concerts). Suddenly a room that had been filled with noise and clamor grew quiet, as perhaps many saw their need for a Savior. Many that evening accepted Christ into their lives, and immediately thereafter, Max Lucado began to pray for America. The concert ended with all the musicians coming back on stage, and the audience sang one last time together as one unified voice. That’s my favorite things about concerts the way that a crowded room of people from all different stages of life can come together as one and sing praises to their Savior.
As soon as the concert ended, my sisters and I headed back to the Hilton hotel, where we planned on hibernating, due to the exhaustion of the day’s endeavors. For tomorrow entailed another road trip, but this time to Redding, California and later Yosemite National Park.