Sunday, January 10, 2010

Life is a Highway

Dennis and I went on a short road trip to Ohio to visit friends in Dayton. It was an adventure, as it was kind of slick on the highways Friday morning. My husband was patient for the first hour and a half of my expert driving advice--when he finally said that I needed to chill out, it was actually a relief. I was beginning to annoy myself as well.

We have made thousands of trips on icy roads, long before we married each other and afterwards as well. I never really thought much about the risks involved, nor did I worry nearly half as much as I do lately. After Dennis got me to shut up, I was reminded that I wasn't always like this. What happened to me?

Actually, in my defense, there were six cars that were in ditches along a mile length of highway just 15 minutes into our journey. I've long dispensed with the magical thinking that it would never be us in the ditch or worse. And the fact that the economy sucks and the state is too broke to put out the ice melting potion on the highway anymore is never far from my mind. And I have enough experience with Dennis to know that he's an extremely good driver and that I can trust him, if I want to. It's just that even extremely good drivers still make mistakes every once and awhile, and I have saved our lives so many times in the last 20 years by my expert back seat driving, that it is hard to give up that very important responsibility. I've often wondered how he manages to survive driving without me.

[Yes, it's scarey how I really think. There is freedom in humility, in knowing that I'm not all that and I will never be. As many times as I "saved" us from serious danger, there were just as many times as I nearly cause it, too. Pride can make one really deluded.]

The irony is that we started out our trip with a prayer for safety, and not long afterwards, I behaved as though I never asked God for anything at all. I've fallen between two exhausting extremes, never worrying and worrying too much. I think trusting God is not about denying the irrefutable existence of ice on the road, but nor is it about being obsessed by it. If it is His will, we'd get to our friends' house and back. If not,well, then we will deal with it when we get to that point. Meanwhile, slow down and don't hit the brake pedal.

On the way home, it was a nice sunny day. I knew that there was still some ice on the road, especially when we crossed over the state line into Michigan. But by then I meditated on the truth that it's by His mercy and grace that I am even able to walk across the room, that without Him I can do nothing.

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