Honey, I’m ho-o-ome! I had a wonderful time on vacay but when my tires rolled onto the first strip of sacred Louisiana ground, I have to say my heart soared. Yum, it is delicious to be home again. I have lived here longer than I have ever lived anywhere. I grew up as an Air Force brat so I can safely say I’ve been around the world and back – all before I was 16 years old. I moved around a bit after I grew up too, successfully squelching future wanderlust. I love to travel but I like having my roots planted. There is a sign on my wall that says What I love Most about my Home is Who I share it with. That’s pretty much a blanket statement about how I feel, especially because my beloved stayed home while I fled the quiet life to search out family, friends, and fans. Sort of. Ok, the fan part? I said that because I had two book signings while on my trip; one in Heber Springs, Arkansas and the other in Warrensburg, Missouri. I had a blast, but I’ll go into that later. First I want to tell you about a lesson the Universe (read Higher Power, then translate that into God) threw at me via a black convertible.
Create a mental picture, if you will; me, driving on a four-lane just past Little Rock, Arkansas, going south. It’s early morning, traffic is practically non-existent, unbelievably. A blonde chick in a very impressive, shiny, muscular Mustang passes me going maybe five miles over the speed limit. Then she changes lanes in front of me. Then she slows down. Somehow, I think she made a mistake. So I change lanes because, after all, I am going the speed limit and if I stay behind her, she may find out the hard way that she is driving too slow. Can’t have that, can we? Don’t think about me being in my >ahem< late fifties with more grey than blonde hair, looking more frumpy than hot, driving a twelve-year-old car with two hundred and six thousand miles on it. Well, let’s say blonde chick didn’t read the signs because she passes me again and slows down directly in front of me. I rode it out for a few miles until Stupid Pride won a tug of war with Common Sense and I had to pass her again. This time I gun it and take off down the road. I’m pretty smug about it. I think to myself that’ll show her it’s not the ride, it’s experience that counts. She eats my dust for about twenty miles.
Yeah, experience. That’s what is important, right? Some things you just have to trust and experience is one of them. I am an experienced woman. Old enough to know better, wise enough to resist. Every wrinkle earned from life’s toughest times. A maturity that comes from working hard and solving the riddles of life. Yadda yadda yadda. So, I am full of myself, driving and passing, bobbing and weaving through traffic, feeling like an expert experienced driver-woman. I find myself in the left lane, traffic thickening, more cars in line going who-knows-where. The car in front of me doesn’t want to speed up even one mile over the limit and the camaraderie of cars surrounding it becomes impatient. Finally a break. The one in front pulls over and I speed past. But, picture this, traffic slows down and becomes slightly compressed around me. I notice blonde chick is behind me again. My ego deflates and I somehow feel less experienced and important because she has caught up with me. We travel along for a bit before I look to the right and see that there is room and all I have to do is change lanes and let the hot convertible whiz by but I hesitate. If I do it, I will lose.
Suddenly, I realize blonde chick doesn’t even know she’s in a race. And, by the way, where is the finish line? As I change lanes and she zooms past, it dawns on me….It’s not how fast you get to the finish line, it’s not even getting to the finish line, it’s who you help get there that is important.
It took a silly, pride-full, analogy of traffic and racing to get ahead to teach me this lesson. It’s not getting yourself there, it’s helping someone else get there. That is what we are called to do as a people of God. I know it sounds ridiculous, but you see, sometimes that is the only way He can get through to me. I am, at times, pretty silly. And maybe a little slow. Pun intended.
Let me take this one step further and share the scripture waiting for me on my calendar when I got home. A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed. Proverbs 11:25
Now that can’t be a coincidence, can it? I don’t think so. I call it sweet confirmation, a Divine nod in the direction of ‘you got it, girl’.
Oh, you thought I was going to say I got a speeding ticket, didn’t you? Sorry. I think I was driving faster in your head than I actually was on the road.