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.