An Impromptu Driving Lesson

Today, I drove a friend to the airport. Not an unusual thing for me as my schedule currently gives me the opportunity to help friends out when needed. What is unusual is that on three separate occasions when changing lanes during the drive there, I did not see a car in my blind spot.

By the time we got to the airport, I was pretty shaken up, but I thanked my friend, Christie, for not freaking out over the near accidents. I apologized for not being more careful.  She very graciously replied, “there are going to be days when for whatever reason, we are not paying as much attention as we should be, and that we sometimes need to count on another driver to be smart.” I sat with that thought for a bit, realizing that she had been much more aware than I had been of the cars around us. She had, in fact, been directing me the entire time during the drive. As I left the airport, I made a mental note to be more aware of my driving, especially my blind spot.

As we evaluate our life experience – both positive and negative – it is good to hold things up to the light (see: “You’ve Made a Mistake. Now Do These 3 Things.“). Even better to discuss these experiences with a close, trusted friend (like Christie) or a counselor who can offer perspective and insight that shines light on your blind spots, as painful as that may be. After all, the wisdom literature of the Bible says, “wounds from a friend can be trusted” (Proverbs 27:6a NIV).

But lingering too long in this process can prevent us from unwrapping today’s joy as we wait for the other shoe to drop – which it always does. Today’s driving lesson reminded me that in proper measure, vigilance and caution are healthy as they can warn us of real danger. But too much of either quickly turns into worry which can paralyze us in fear. Choosing not to worry about the future, or loved ones, or even future career prospects is a conscious decision – one that requires trust and the gift of faith. But it is a choice that I make at the start of each new day knowing that I am not walking alone through this life and that by meeting fear with faith in the one true God, I can be “clothed with strength and dignity; and laugh at the days to come.” (Proverbs 31:25 NIV)

What was I reminded of during today’s impromptu driving lesson? To relax, let someone else do the driving and enjoy the journey.

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