Friday, May 28, 2010

Do You Know Where You're Going?

My husband's car broke. The driveshaft. On his 1997 Saturn. The one with 368,000 miles.

He loves his cars. I remember when he had to finally let go of his Colt. Just pitiful. I swear I saw tears.

Tin cans.

Anyway, he got the car fixed. Which meant a rental car for a few days. And yesterday I had to drive him up to the airport to turn it back in and then over to pick up his mistress.

I hate highway construction. I hate the barrels and the barriers. I hate trying to figure out where I'm supposed to be. I hate that everyone else seems to know, and they ignore the 60-MPH  but 45-MPH-when-workers-are-present signs. Construction ahead. Slow down. They just fly past me. Weave in. Weave out.

Anyway, I don't know what possessed me to ask. I think because I seldom have a passenger but Gracee who just turns up the music and enjoys the ride or amuses herself with her Nintendo or pen and paper.

My kids always complain about my driving. But they're kids. I guess I was thinking about them and their complaining.

But before I knew it, the fighting words fell out of my mouth.

"Does my driving make you nervous?"

Silence. Weighing words.

"Well, a little," he finally said.

I gripped the wheel tighter. Clamped my teeth. Tight. Tongue safely dammed behind them.

He continued.

"You did get a little close to that truck back there, and you nearly crossed the center line. AND you say you know where you're going, but you don't really."

I screamed, "What are you talking about Mr. DK55 on the open highway? YOU who likes to scare someone who pulls out in front of you so you don't brake until the last minute. YOU who loves the sound of your horn. YOU who when you drive in Detroit traffic turn into one of THEM. YOU wonder why I always have my nose in a book even in the car? YOU who leaves dust in your wake as you hit country chatterbumps at 55 leaving me with aching teeth and a bruised tailbone? I make YOU nervous?"

Yup. That's what I screamed.

In my head.

But since I have a gentle and quiet spirit, I simple nodded and said, "Hmm. Well, I get nervous riding with you sometimes, too."

And I could use a GPS. Even right here in our little town. I admit it. I've never had a great sense of direction, and Dennis loves to tell the story of when we were riding "around the square" on horseback (a much softer ride over chatterbumps), and how we turned right, then right, then right, and then I tried to go left.

I mean, who pays that much attention when you're settled in the saddle, buried in thought, playing with a mane, brushing away flies, patting a warm neck, and taking in the scenery.

Just enjoying the ride.


I might have said a few other things. In a gentle and quiet way, of course. But I got to thinking.

This drive through life can be tough. A battle sometimes. And there are rules and signs.

Dodge the barriers. Roll with the bumps. Don't ride too close to someone else. Stay in the narrow lane. Don't cross the center line. Keep your eyes on the road. Construction ahead. Slow down.

But enjoy the ride.

And always know where you're going.

Do you have any highway horror stories? 
What traffic sign best typifies your life right now? 
Do you know where you're going?
"Don't look for shortcuts to God. The market is flooded with surefire, easygoing formulas for a successful life that can be practiced in your spare time. Don't fall for that stuff, even though crowds of people do. The way to life--to God!--is vigorous and requires total attention." Matthew 7:13-14 (Message)

Copyright © 2010 by Sandra Heska King


Jeff Jordan said...

At least your husband didn't voluntarily offer his anxiety over your must have suspected it if you asked him-so somewhere in your own consciousness you must have realized there was a sufficient reason for him to be nervous:)

Lisa is a great driver, but I think I have control issues evidently...if I'm in a car I must be the driver...just can't handle riding with hardly anyone.

Maybe that happens alot in my spiritual life too...can't give over the wheel...want to get there on my own.

Now you've gone and got me thinking...

Sandra Heska King said...

Oh. The big C word. ;)

Did I mention that I've had a new car for a year, and there's not a scratch on it, and that I've only had one ticket in my whole life--for speeding through town on my way to work after a rather, shall we say, challenging morning at home?

We won't mention the time I backed into the side of one of our cars with the other in our driveway.

Or the time I ran into our house or a gas pump when I was first learning how to drive. Neither of which was my fault!

Anonymous said...

one of my fav. bumper stickers...

"Get in. sit down. shut up. hold on."

Jeff Jordan said...

So, what you're saying is, it's pretty safe with you on the roads...just stay out of the house, driveway, and gas staion when you're behind the wheel--I know, I know. It's never "your" fault:)

Sandra Heska King said...

@Nancy: Oh, I love that one!

@Jeff: Look! A squirrel!

Duane Scott said...

When I was a kid, my mother once backed through a red light, going the wrong way.

She had turned onto a one way going the wrong way. When she noticed all the cars coming at her with impending speed, she threw it in reverse. She backed through a red light.

Doesn't happen very often. I'm thankful I'm alive.

Sandra Heska King said...

Doesn't happen very often? Does she back through red lights a lot? Your mom sounds like a riot. Have you found your dad yet?

Anonymous said...

I promise, the reflective message wasn't lost on me, but I can't help remembering my own post about Preparation-H. So, have you called anyone a little hemorrhoid yet? :D

And that vehicle has 368,000 miles on it???? Oh my word! Sound "Taps" and bury that thing!!!

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