Friday, June 3, 2016

Arrive Alive!


Proverbs 3:5-7
Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.

Over the years, my husband, Danny, and I have paid many visits to my parents (now just my mother since Dad passed); it takes us well over an hour to travel from our home in Kennesaw to theirs in Oxford.  And that's using the most straight and expedient route:  Interstate 75-South, through Atlanta, and on to Interstate 20-East.

Danny is an extremely competent and defensive driver when it comes to tackling the expressways.  Me?  Not on your life!  Though I trust Danny completely when he is behind the wheel, rarely can I sit back and enjoy the ride.  Yes, I've tried reading while he's driving.  It doesn't work.  Some morbid attraction to all the traffic whizzing around us diverts my attention from the book every time.

Our most recent sojourn to Mom's house happens two Saturdays ago.  Usually, the traffic volume is lighter on the weekends and therefore, less stressful.

Not this time . . .

The drive from Kennesaw all the way through the downtown connector is tight.  Jammed.  To make things worse, the Indy 500 wannabees are out in full and reckless force.  It's a lane-changing, dodge-em car nightmare!  Even though the speed limit says "55," if you're not doing at least 70, you're guaranteed to get run over.

As if that's not enough, a motorcycle hurtling at an estimated 80+ passes us and then proceeds to weave hazardously through traffic up ahead.  The rider might as well have the words "Organ Donor" emblazoned on the back of his black-leather jacket.

Then there's "Tailgating Tammy."  Creeping dangerously up on back bumpers, following so closely that the slightest change-up in traffic flow assures a ten-car pile-up.

And the careless trucker, probably sleep-deprived, swaying disconcertingly from side to side.

Add the I-can't-put-my-cellphone-down crazies in the crowd, and you have a recipe for disaster.

The only good thing about all this mayhem is I'm praying.  Constantly.  Persistently.  Travel mercies, Lord, travel mercies!!!  Please, Lord, let us arrive alive!

God, thankfully, grants my prayers.  Danny and I get to Mom's and back home safely, though our nerves are sorely frazzled.  So frayed, that we decide it's high time we travel the back roads to Oxford in the future.

While the drive (I've done it several times) takes almost three hours, the route is much more scenic and definitely less chaotic.  It also means that we would travel to Mom's on one day, spend the night, and return home the next.  Makes for more time spent with her, and that's definitely a good thing.

And I think, maybe, just maybe, we encounter all those close calls on the highway for that very reason.  God is telling us to not lean on our own understanding when choosing the path, but trust in and submit to His will in all things.

What to our eyes seems the most circuitous routes, those two-lane back roads, are the paths the Lord has now made straight and safe and welcoming.

Paths to give us the confident knowledge that we will arrive alive.

~

Have you every encountered any close calls while navigating expressways?

Prayer:  Father, so many times, the routes we see as the most expedient and time-saving aren't at all the paths You make straight for us.  Let us listen for Your still, small voice, sending us in the right direction, and trust in You with all our hearts.  In Jesus' name, we pray.  Amen.

14 comments:

  1. Oh, Martha, how I relate to this post. I do not like the freeway and have experienced several frightening incidents. I love the humor of the motorcyclist and names given to types of drivers. Like you, I'm usually praying scripture and Psalm 91 over us until we arrive safely to our destination. Thanks for the reminder about our routes and paths in life all under control of a sovereign God.

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    1. Thank you for your comment here today, Karen, and glad you enjoyed the post! Yes, prayer is the one and only thing that keeps me together on these highway drives. Glad it works for you, too!
      And our routes are all in God's hands, aren't they?
      Love and blessings!

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  2. And the worse part of the whole experience is, someone else is behind the wheel, with your life in their hands,and all you can do is pray. Not always knowing who to play for first! OMG this experience, I can relate. For the most part, I always stay home, and I'm ok with that, especially if I'm not driving. Good read, Martha!

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    1. Shira, as I said above, I trust Danny's driving, but it's the other horrific drivers on the road that scare the living daylights out of me. As I said to Karen, prayers are the only things that keep me grounded and ease my anxiety.
      Love and blessings!

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  3. Mmmm....not sure how to respond to this except that living in fear is not where we choose to live. Regarding driving, I know that if there is a close call He will protect me so I do not need to worry. Loved the drivers you described and we never know what we will encounter -- both on the physical road or the road of life. Nicely expressed, Martha

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    1. Carol, I thought about your story when you were navigating the expressways in Seattle. Wow! That sand!!! You are right, though - fear is not the way to live, and we should never lose sight of God being in ultimate control. Knowing that is always a comfort!
      Love and blessings!

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  4. I've never been in an accident, but I have had several close calls. One was near Dallas a year or so ago, and I truly believe there had to be angels directing us because a car came out of nowhere on my right side going into a turning lane and we miraculously didn't crash. Crazy!

    And yes, love your point. Willfully taking the slow road? I have certainly had trouble with that in the past, but I'm learning. Great lesson here. Thank you, Martha.

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    1. Wow, that WAS a close call, Jason! I believe that we had angels watching over us on that Saturday drive I described here.
      And it's such a temptation to take the fast lane, even when we know God is telling us to slow down and breathe. Glad you enjoyed the post and the lesson!
      Love and blessings!

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  5. Martha, I loved how you described the drivers you encountered so accurately. When I drive, I avoid interstates like the plague. The back roads, while longer, feel much safer to me and are so scenic. Even at that, I've had close calls on the highway (and in my small town!).

    Love and blessings!

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    1. Thank you, Kim! Back roads do take longer and they are not without their dangers, but there can be close calls in life even when we're not behind the wheel. I'm so grateful God is in it all!
      Love and blessings!

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  6. wow I hate that kind of traffic. Been through Atlanta too - miserable! I am really into slowing down in all sorts of way. Being a defensive driver too. I guess paying attention all the time is a good characteristic to develop, right?

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    1. Paying attention is a fabulous characteristic to develop. I try every day to be awake and aware at what is happening around me. I'm not always successful, Jean, but with God's help, I'll get better at it.
      So sorry you had to drive through Atlanta, too. It's ranked the 7th worst city for traffic. Yuck!
      Love and blessings!

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  7. Oh Martha, yes, my nerves would be pretty crispy, too. I much prefer quiet drives down wooded country paths. Too bad that we have to travel 90 mph to get to visit those we love so much ...

    May this weekend offer you some serenity in your journey!

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    1. Yes, Linda, country paths are my preference, too. Give me peace and quiet any day of the week!
      May your weekend be blessed as well.
      Love and blessings!

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