It’s a big commuter road stretching from the heart of Knoxville, TN straight on through to a neighboring county just packed with plants and businesses which provide a lot of jobs… Meaning: people. Meaning: cars.
This would be ok if it were an empty stretch of interstate with exit ramps and such, but… it’s not. It’s loaded. Car dealers. Restaurants. Hotels. Access roads. Neighborhoods. Aw, heck, they even threw in an airport, just to keep things interesting.
So you can imagine what I’m talking about when I say that crossing said highway every day is a little… complicated. It’s an art, really. And after three years I feel like I’ve finally got it figured out, thanks to some very clear training and explanation from my husband (who was a race car driver in his previous life).
But even with having it all figured out, there are times when it’s just plain hard to cross that darn road. You sit in the median for what feels like an eternity and just when you think there is a break, your mind plays tricks on you. ‘I don’t know, that semi is moving pretty fast…’ ‘Oh, I think that car is closer than it looks.’ ‘Gooo…. now! No! Wait! Stop, don’t go.’
If anyone heard the self-talk that I have to go through just to get home some days, you’d die laughing.
The problem is, it’s a really dangerous road! And I really have to get across it! But it’s one of those roads where when you decide to go, you HAVE to go. There is no second-guessing. When you feel you’ve got that 3-5 second break in cars you have to hit the gas and pray that your car will make it across 30 feet of concrete in 3-5 seconds or… well.
You know what happens if you don’t make it. I am not kidding you, I tried to find a picture of this highway to give you an idea, but when I typed the name into my Google Images search, all that came up were pictures of wrecks!
And there are days where I sit there paralyzed in the median. Kid you not, paralyzed. I’ve either over-thought it. Or I’ve made a few false-starts and they’ve got me jumpy. Or there really is just no end to the traffic.
I won’t even go in to what happens when a car pulls up in the median behind me.
This road is treacherous… but I have to cross it or I will never get home. It’s inevitable. I could sit there five seconds, or five minutes. But at the end of the day, I have.
And that is exactly what happened to me at Bible study this morning.
I missed last week because my family was in town. It was the first week of our new study. So Sunday afternoon I got the book and started the first week of homework. It seemed like it was gonna be good and intense, but when you’re in a room with so many awesome women and you’re sharing your heart and life, it’s always worth it. ALWAYS.
And I have been SO excited for summer to end so that this Bible study group could start meeting again.
When I pulled up into the median of “comfortable, just going along with however things are” life and the “life of abundance and freedom and effectiveness that God wants me to be living”.
Have you ever been there?
You know something has to change. It’s pretty clear that you’re at the point where you can’t blame anyone else. There are no more fingers to point. No more self-help books to read. No more feel-good experiences left. It’s time to just put your foot on the gas and get on with it. Because over there is where you WANT to be. And you’re not serving anyone sitting here in the median. (not only that, but you may be holding others up by dilly-dallying) And you can’t turn around. And you can’t just keep moving on down the highway in the wrong direction.
Ugh! But it’s so stressful and terrifying and frustrating to cross that stupid road because you KNOW that the minute you squeak your nose out past that protective white line, you have to go all the way.
So I think what just happened to me this morning is someone pushed me over the white line. I didn’t see it coming. I didn’t realize that God had created a 3-4 second gap in the road for me to get across. I might not have even realized that I needed to cross a road at this point, but now I do. Because I’m in it. I’m in the road and I have to do this.
And my soul is screaming YAY!!! GET ON WITH IT! IT’S GONNA BE SO AWESOME ON THE OTHER SIDE!
And my flesh is screaming, “WTF ARE YOU DOING?! YOU’RE GONNA GET RUN OVER BY A MAC TRUCK! DON’T DO IT! DON’T DO IT!”
I’m almost angry and inconvenienced and annoyed by the whole thing.
I asked two of the leaders afterwards, “Who picked this?” And they looked at each other and started snickering, like, they knew! They KNEW it would get under our skin and make us wriggle and writhe …
And be set free.
And be all that we are created to be.
And I hate it when God shoves me out in the middle of the road…
And is always right.