I don’t like driving.
I’m ashamed to admit that it’s been a challenge of my humanity—it really has. People either drive too quickly (inches from my bumper), or too slowly (30 in the 65 mph zone); they are overly cautious, or dangerously reckless. I don’t know how many times I have had to apologize to God for angry thoughts I have had, or poisonous outbursts I have let slip past my lips. I can be extremely patient in many situations, however for whatever reason, being in the car has usually been difficult.
I have a 30 minute commute to and from work. One particular day, after many exhausting and challenging frustrations at work, I just wanted to be home and to get quickly get there. The car in front of me didn’t seem to share the same sense of urgency.
My route is such that there are no opportune spots in which to pass other cars. So there I was, stuck behind this guy driving 28 in a 65, probably barking at him as though he could really hear me, with frustration and impatience bubbling up inside me. I imagined that I had a magical teleportation canon strapped to my car whereby I could shoot his car and send him back to his point of origin so that he could feel the same sense of urgency that I was feeling.
And then I heard a voice in my head saying, “Just take another route. This isn’t worth it.”
So I did.
Between work and home, there are many country roads that meander by farmland, ponds, rivers and empty fields. I had never before taken this particular road. Though I had a general sense of direction, I didn’t really know where it would lead; I was driving unfamiliar territory. Being on unpaved dirt roads made me drive more slowly. I opened the windows and inhaled the fresh country air. I saw beautiful land I had never knew was there. I appreciated all the beauty that is missing in our concrete jungles. My anxiety and impatience were gone. That urge to get home as quickly as possible was no longer there. My entire disposition shifted as I had the realization that life is so much more beautiful when we travel it at a slower, more intentionally relaxed pace. It’s only recently that I have really grasped the beauty of letting go—changing my mindset and slowing down.
Though I do still have my little vehicular frustrations and challenges, I find myself now returning in my mind to that country road. Now, whenever I am stuck behind someone, rather than stew in my seat and long for that teleportation device, I try to use those moments to compliment God on his creative handiwork and thank him for the blessings in my life—like that fact that unlike much of the world, I am blessed enough to even have a car.
It’s amazing how the orientation of your heart changes when you choose to take a different path. Find your country road, roll down your windows and enjoy the beauty in slowing down. Just don’t drive like a jerk.
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