I read somewhere once that “life is a test, a trust, and a temporary assignment.”
Moving from Florida to the Midwest has taught me many many things, one of which is that unless you point me to the direction of a beach, I have no idea (even generally speaking) what direction I’m facing. Florida is a grid. It goes east and west and north and south. There are no hills or bends or curves. Straight. Forward. So you can imagine my absolute amazement at the road situation in a place like Ohio. It is not similar at all. In any way. In fact, I spend my time in the passenger seat praying that there’s still a road over the top of a steep hill. Does the road just cut ooooooooffffffffffff, okay, no. Sigh.
It’s nerve wracking for me, to say the very least. I have a very hard time not grasping with white knuckles every emergency bar in the car and begging my husband to slow down or not take his eyes off the road. It’s a trust thing. I’m working on it.
Pulling onto my new street brings variables I have never truly prepared myself for. Signs on the road show a horse and buggy as caution. A tractor is printed on a sign near my street, which I assume alerts you that large farm equipment may travel on this road. Pictures of deer galloping have been, by far, my least favorite, as I dread with my whole being ever hitting a deer. In fact, I cry and yell out “WHY?!” when I see their bodies laying on the sides of the road. “Why did you go? What’s wrong with you!?!”
It really has been a huge adjustment getting used to driving here. The weather, I can manage. But how do I make sure I never, ever, sneeze while I’m driving down my street, in fear that I may swerve and kill my entire family or a deer, hit a tractor, and maim an Amish person or their buggy? Why am I like this? Oh yes, because I have trust issues.
The other day, I was on my front porch for absolutely no reason at all. I say “for no reason” because honestly, I don’t go out there. We have two entrance doors on the side of our house, and no one ever uses the front door. It does, however, face the road. So I was literally out there for no reason at all when I saw a truck pulling out of my neighbor’s driveway, heading left, whatever direction that is. They had a trailer on the back carrying what appeared to be cattle.
Then, I looked right and saw another truck coming. This one also had a load on it. Bigger than my neighbor’s. And they were headed directly towards each other. I made that face with the teeth showing and sighed deeply as I held my breath, watching this obvious accident about to unfold in front of me. And then something happened. Nothing. They both slowed down and let each other creep past…each trusting that the other was close enough to their side so they could pass by each other.
My husband explains that when they build roads and infrastructure, they give room for these types of things. How big a vehicle can be to travel on certain roads. Engineers and architects and highly trained people design perfectly the roads that we drive on. I guess I always knew this, but just never gave much thought to the actual process that goes into such mundane things like roads and traffic patterns. Bus length x height x width. Who knew?
These two drivers knew somehow that the road was big enough for them both to have space. They trusted the engineer of the road, the vehicle they were in, and then—just for kicks—added a little faith that they would squeeze by. And they did!
I bet if we learned to trust the universe’s engineer more, we would have less anxiety and stress. We would worry less and experience more if we trusted that God’s plan for us is way bigger and better than our plans. His path—his road—is designed perfectly. Will there be bumps? Detours? Traffic? Yes. There’s no guarantee in life that the road will be easy street. But if we put our hands on the wheel and just trust that God is in control, we should be able to navigate even the most treacherous avenue.
Reality Changing Observations:
1. Similarly to the engineers, in what everyday situations do you recognize that someone wise and knowledgeable has made provisions for safety and efficiency?
2. Why do we sometimes assume God is less caring or competent than people?
3. What does it look (and feel) like to trust that God has designed the path we’re on?