Driving School: Lessons Learned on the Road

October 20, 2011 § 1 Comment

The moment we eagerly anticipate and our parents dread. The day we take the keys and buckle in behind the wheel as they ever so cautiously sit in the passenger side with eyes piercing the road and rearview mirror. Fingers curl, one with overhead handle.

What is so scary about losing or giving up control? Why must I conquer in the quest to navigate life’s drive?

Am I so risk averse that I believe my way to be the only way that each party will perform and enjoy to their ultimate delight? Robin reminded me yesterday that I should consider others as better than myself. How many times would conflict be averted if I would simply consider?

Am I so risk averse that I discourage friends and family from attempting a new venture? Or so risk averse that I would grip tightly to the wheel when another passenger is ready to drive and would navigate the coming terrain with precision above my own?

In this temporary life, there is a given mileage for each of us. A given stretch of the road. An alloted portion to journey both together and alone.

Separation will come. Kids grow up and drive a car independent of parent. Aging parents return to adult children’s carpool and less frequently venture out on their own. Then car is empty again as parent or loved one moves beyond to his or her final destination where the journey has really just begun.

Perhaps you spend a generous amount of time in the car and on the road like I do. I have memories of rushing to dance lessons, ballgames, and piano practice with my mom and sister. Vacation trips with the family complete with a barricade between our two back seats that still allowed for, “Dad, she’s touching me.” “Mom, she’s staring at me.”

How quickly the days pass. Now I am the mom who hears, “Are we to _____, yet?” “Can I listen to Veggie Tales?” “There’s the hospital where I was born!”

No matter the drive, or the company therein, these are moments that matter. These are times that we can share life lessons and God moments with everyone along for the ride. I believe that we are reluctant to converse over that which really matters. Fear of vulnerability, fear of trusting to find an untrustworthy ear.

Many of us would rather strap in alone than buckle up with a family member for real conversation.

Misconceptions and rejections lead us to drive alone when we could easily and more blessedly carpool. Amen?

Why not? Why not risk asking for help?

Just last week our family traveled to visit the grandparents.  I cried in the car on two different occasions with two different family members.  Talking with my husband I realized that I have neglected friendships in my life be it due to the intensity and demands of ministry, motherhood, and the nature of writing (or reading and thinking about writing). Regardless, I allowed it to happen. Crying over this fact led us to evaluate my commitments and time.  I have now joined a women’s Bible study group and will look for other opportunities to interact with our friends outside of church.

Then, when riding with my mom, we began to discuss my grandfather’s health.  I treaded lightly here as I had cried myself to sleep the night before thinking about a future time void of my Paw Paw’s earthly presence. Thankfully, my grandfather is a professing Christian and he is also 80 years old. Mom and I got to talk about death and share our feelings about Paw Paw’s condition and the end of life.

Please know: My mother is a crier and I did not want to, ahem, “appear weak,” and cry in front of her.

But I did, and it felt really good.

What if I had just bottled up and suppressed those feelings? I would not have enjoyed the comforting mutual edification from my mom or husband. That is a reward of facing my fear of recognized weakness and dependence on those I love.

If I had not raised the awareness of my inner feelings, thus raising the risk in relationships, then troubled thoughts would continue to swirl in my pea-sized brain.

We are created for relationship.  Why not buckle up and enjoy the ride in a carpool?

Raise the Risk Challenge:

  • What are some driving lessons that you are learning as relates to people, risk, and life? Share these here or with a friend.
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§ One Response to Driving School: Lessons Learned on the Road

  • What a timely post to read. Our family spends lots of time in the car. I usually dread it, but you have given me the inspiration to use that time at family bonding and memory making! Thanks for linking up to Living In The Moment link up.

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