I drove today. Nothing shocking in that statement; I just had a lot of time to think. None of us left the house for any reason yesterday, which was a rare treat. Still, there are days I wish we had somewhere to go.
When I worked for newspapers, I did a lot of driving. Not a truck driver’s worth of driving or anything, but more than I was used to on a regular basis. I usually enjoy the chance to let my mind wander and ponder. On many nights driving home from a late school board meeting, I’d write the story in my head so I’d have less work to do when I got to the office. Now, I find that I do most of my in-head writing while I’m washing dishes. I suppose I should be thankful for all the dishes needing washed. The novel I’m working on takes on new dimensions every time I find myself tethered to the sink with a mound of dirty dishes.
I’ve become sort of a homebody. Almost hermitish. If I don’t have to go somewhere, I don’t look for excuses. Home is comfortable. And safe.
But I’m starting to miss the movement. I want to be on my way. Our family feels a little stuck right now. Like when I was on my way today, stopped in single-lane traffic around a curve in a construction zone not-so-patiently waiting my turn. I’m always sure that just when I pull up to the flagger holding the sign, he’s going to flip it to “stop.” That’s what life feels like, a little. Just when we feel like we’re going somewhere, God says “wait.” Or “stop.” And we sit there, letting all the oncoming traffic pass us by.On the way home, at the same construction zone, I got behind a dump truck when it was our direction’s turn to use the single lane. Part way through the zone, the dump truck pulled off to the construction side of the road and I found myself eerily alone on the one-lane road. And I thought how much trust I had placed in the flaggers to do their job and not send a horde of oncoming traffic into my path. The same is true for this zone of life we’re in. I have to trust that God can see what’s around the bend and when He flips the sign telling us it’s time to go, we can trust that we won’t be headed for a nasty crash.
Trust. So easy to talk about. So hard to live out.
As I planned my route into a city I’m not so familiar with, my husband gave me an alternate route that tested my sense of adventure. I’m forever terrified of getting lost in a “foreign” city with no one to rescue me. I’ve taken enough wrong turns–literally and figuratively–in life to make me want to avoid them at all costs. My sense of direction and driving instincts are pretty good, but sometimes I panic and take the wrong turn because I don’t trust myself to know the right way.
But I made it to my destination. Even parked in a parking garage and crossed the street to the coffee shop like a big girl. I never thought of myself as a country bumpkin but every time I have to pay for parking or dodge traffic to cross the street, I’m reminded of just how much rural there is in my system. (I’m by no means a farm girl, either. I live somewhere in between city and country.)
Trusting. Pushing boundaries. Leaving what’s comfortable. Taking a new path.
All of this plays in to the current chapter of our story. It doesn’t solve anything. But it fuels me for the continuing journey.
I’m still not sure where God is taking us, but I know we’re safe in His hands.