“King Of The Road” by Roger Miller
40 Days of Country – Day #35 – Lent 2016
Country music “Hall of Famer” Roger Miller began his career in the late 1950’s writing songs for other popular recording artists such as Jim Reeves and Ray Price. Then, in the 1960’s, Miller began making a name for himself embracing the Nashville sound and writing honky-tonk style novelties. It was, of course, one of these hits, 1964’s “King of the Road,” with its iconic opening line, “Trailer for sale or rent,” for which Miller is best known.
The song, which has been covered by as many artists as the number of years the song has been in existence, tells the tale of a homeless vagabond who wonders from town to town with barely a penny to his name. Still, as the narrator is free to live his life how he chooses and make his own decisions, he feels more like a king than a pauper, singing “I know every engineer on every train, ll of their children, and all of their names…I’m a man of means by no means, king of the road.”
Jesus was no stranger to the road. As a matter of fact, according to Luke’s Gospel, just after Jesus begins his ministry in his hometown of Nazareth, the people are so upset with his words that they try to have him executed, leaving Jesus to remark, “I assure you that no prophet is welcome in the prophet’s hometown.” From that point on, Jesus ministry is one long journey from one town to the next, criss-crossing the Sea of Galilee as he meets all sorts of different people along the way, very much like Miller’s “King of the Road.” Similarly, as Christians, we have a responsibility to get out of the comforts of our own homes and communities and share the good news of Jesus Christ, especially with the strangers we encounter, sometimes with our words, but always with our actions.
Loving Savior, you are the true King of the road. Guide our feet as we strive to follow you on the road that leads to life, abundant and everlasting, and encourage us to invite others to join us on the journey. Amen.