I have an eighteen mile commute that feels like eighteen hundred miles on Thursdays. I’m not sure why getting to work takes so much longer on this day of the week. When I’m not flipping through the radio stations, or catching up on the local news with my favorite talk radio channel, I often consider the many reasons why the Thursday drive takes so much time – more demands on the trucking industry, employees who have a “longer hour/less days” week, or God’s way of allowing the traffic jams and slow-moving vehicles to force me to think about my freeway neighbors as I make my way through two freeway changes and several exit lanes.
If I allow myself to focus on that last option, then it challenges me to think about the teenaged girl in the small Honda in the next lane who just rear-ended the Lincoln in front of her. It’s only a fender-bender and everyone is visibly okay, but when she calls her parents to give them the bad news, what kind of response will she get?
And, what about that young mom that is visible in my rear-view mirror? As she chats animatedly on her cell phone – with complete disregard for California’s hands-free law – I wonder if anyone has taken the time to tell her that even though she might be “just a mom,” that puts in a few hours as a cashier for a local store that her career is just as important as any high-powered executive.
We hear songs about long drives and stressful commutes. The poetic license of the lyrics often likens drivers to individuals marching like ants with no destination. And as I continue down the highway with these other drivers, I must ask myself, “Am I driving like I have a known destination?” And if the answer is yes, I must also ask myself, “Do people want to follow me to this destination? Are they excited about what is waiting for them? Or are they hesitant to take the exit I’ve chosen, not sure about what lies ahead?”
These questions challenge me to consider the following verses:
“…Go out into the world uncorrupted, a breath of fresh air in this squalid and polluted society. Provide people with a glimpse of good living and of the living God. Carry the light-giving Message into the night so I’ll have good cause to be proud of you on the day that Christ returns. You’ll be living proof that I didn’t go to all this work for nothing.” Philippians 2:15 (The Message)
“…Then they’ll be won over to God’s side and be there to join in the celebration when he arrives.” I Peter 2:12 (The Message)
Have you been driving like you have a known destination? Do others follow you to see where you are headed? Are they curious to see what exciting things are waiting just beyond your off ramp or exit?
© 2010 Lori Hartin