I am in the car a lot. My commute every morning takes about forty-five minutes and the drive home fifty-five. This gives me plenty of opportunities to get cut off, follow a bus, or slam on the brakes for someone deciding to turn at the last minute. I have known all those blood-racing, face-burning flares called road rage. Just add to that the times I leave for work two minutes late; the slightest slow down sends adrenaline through my veins as I will myself to get to work on time. Fists clenched, body hunched forward, jaw set—all pushing forward in the effort to get to work faster. I have started to catch myself in this cyclist pose. I reason, “How is this going to get me to work faster?” I definitely will not arrive in better shape to work—physically or mentally!
Nope, I need to relax, sit back, and enjoy the beauty of the sunrise throwing rays of light on the passing ridges—to let the stillness of the solitude erupt in peace washing my tense body and mind with release. Yes, I may follow a bus for a mile taking minutes longer than I could at normal speed, but my mental displeasure at the delay will not quicken my arrival. Some things are just out of my control, but what I can control is how I respond to those unexpected delays.
There is the common analogy of life being like a journey. Isn’t it true that just as when I am driving and willing in vain to get where I want faster, we can impatiently crane our proverbial necks in an attempt to scout out life ahead in hopes we will get the life we so desire? I like to clutch the wheel of my life pushing, pushing to see what is next. “When will my life look how I want it to? When will God enact the plans I want?”
I have done this my whole life. As a girl, I literally counted the years until I would go to college and get married—the college counting was accurate, the marrying not so much. I look back now and chide the child I was for not enjoying the bliss of play and an afternoon flopped on my bed reading a novel. I can never go back to the days I had no more responsibility than to do my homework and chores.
Now I look at my life and ask, “What am I going to miss in ten years which I can enjoy now? What is my future self going to chide me for not embracing and savoring? Why haven’t I applied the learned lesson that life goes fast and each season has its own joys to cherish? Why do I still insist that my life ought to keep moving forward, keep improving on my schedule? Haven’t I already seen the blessings of God’s timing unfold?”
Just as I have recognized the futility of tense driving, I see how ludicrous it is to try to rush God. There are just some things out of my control. What I can control is how I respond to the unexpected delays. I am two years late on my childhood countdown to marriage. It is not what I expected. Sometimes, I feel like rushing it, willing that God would fulfill my little girl’s dream. What I have learned in resting in God’s timing, is that there are blessings to enjoy in the meantime. Like enjoying the morning drive’s sunrise, I have enjoyed the pleasure of my own place—prim and tidy with no dispute on where something should go or cleaning up after another. I have enjoyed the freedom to road trip, visiting friends when my schedule allows. I have enjoyed opportunity to involve myself in church ministry again only having to navigate one person’s schedule. These are the joys of this part of my journey.
Although, I do not know where the road of my life on this earth will take me, I do know where it will end—and thank the Lord it is far better than arriving at work!