Friday, October 21, 2011
To get where we're going
The first week, the littlest one and I just hung out at the community center all day long, watching her siblings dart from one classroom to the next and admiring their work in between. It was a long day of sitting around trying to entertain a 2 year old with very little to work with (how many times can you read the same Family Fun magazine before you start to go completely crazy from Kleenex box crafts and animal-shaped desserts?) The next week we decided to drop off the older kids, run a few errands, and then come back to meet them in time for lunch and the afternoon classes. This worked out much better, though it was a lot of back and forth and in and out of the car for my youngest daughter and I. Still it was the best scenario and so we have kept it up over the weeks.
This morning, I pulled out of the driveway not even thinking and was halfway down our street before I realized I had headed off in the wrong direction. Turning around would be more trouble than it would be worth, we would just have to go the long way to our classes. Then when we were almost there we reached a long line of traffic at a complete stand still. It was much too late in the day for rush hour and though the “snow birds”, Florida’s winter residents, have started coming back there are not enough of them around yet to account for so many cars backed up. I pulled off onto a side street to avoid whatever was causing the traffic jam and ended up meandering through a residential neighborhood that I was not quite as familiar with as I had thought. I drove along, blindly following the car in front, assuming they knew better how to get back to the main street than we did. Thankfully, they did and my son darted into his class right on time. The younger children and I set off for our errands and drove right past the cause of the traffic problems, a big car accident at the main intersection closest to the community center. At that point, I realized my wrong turn out of the driveway earlier may have been for the best. Had we gone our normal way, we might have happened upon that accident as it was happening, we might have even gotten mixed up in the middle of it.
We were lucky to not be involved but only inconvenienced a little. Our morning commute ended up taking twice as long as usual and necessitated quite a few detours and unanticipated twists and turns though. At one point, a policeman directed us to turn on a road we had never taken, at another, we had to turn around and go back the way we came for a time before getting back on track. As I drove, and tried to keep all the hassles in perspective, it occurred to me that my drive this morning was a lot like my journey in life.
Sometimes, as I try to follow Christ and find my way closer to Him, I end up running into road blocks, problems and obstacles that I cannot see the end of and that seem impossible to get through. As I search for the right way, I end up following the paths of others, hoping they know better than I do. Sometimes that works out, sometimes not. Sometimes I am directed to go in new directions and must trust those in authority, again hoping it will get me where I want to go. Sometimes, I feel like I am heading backwards and I wonder if I am making any progress at all. Sometimes, days that start out with mistakes turn out to be God steering me away from dangerous situations.
The road to heaven is never a straight, easy path. It always seems to be full of dangers, detours, and wrong turns but, like my little expedition this morning, if we follow the road set before us and trust in the One in charge all will turn out just fine and eventually we will make it to our destination….at least, I hope.