ROAD SIGNS AND REAR VIEW MIRRORS
Looking Ahead While Pondering the Past
Years ago when I was in driver's ed class the teacher said that a good driver will keep their eyes moving at all times. Of course at 15 the image that came to mind was one of a googlie-eyed monster whose eyes were all crazy looking in 20 different directions. I realized later, during the road portion of our lesson, just what he was talking about. Every once in a while he would ask what color the car was behind us. It was his way of reminding me that there was more to what was on the road than what I saw before me.
In contrast, on life's journey we are often told not to look in our rear view mirror but to keep our eyes on the road ahead and keep moving forward. While this makes sense, there are times when we do look back, not so much to dwell on where we have been but to see our progression and marvel at the things we survived. We can see the different roads we have chosen and the turns we've made along the way, both good and bad. Life is a journey from start to finish, but the destination has always been eternity.
A little over a week ago we had a cold spell in Houston. We don't get many days of frigid weather, but we had two days in a row of rainy, icy, below freezing temps. I am usually pretty careful when walking on icy sidewalks and down icy stairs. I fell a few times when I lived in Minnesota and really don't care for that feeling. I thought I was being careful this time as well. Before I knew it, I was laying face down on the hard frozen concrete. I don't even remember slipping, though I do remember the sound of my ribs breaking. The look on Wagsley's face as he licked mine was that of concern mixed with a bit of humor. In my mind I heard him laughing at me while saying, "what are you doing on the ground silly?"
As it turns out I broke 3 ribs and because your body is one lovely unit, the pain was not isolated to the rib area, but permeated to shoulders, neck, back and abdomen. I'm not altogether certain I wasn't hit by a truck, though it seems unlikely. I questioned "why", as you do when you are in pain and wishing the end to hurry up and come. Perhaps God was showing me that I need to slow down. I've been working a lot of overtime and trying to get as much into every day as I can. Well, slow down I did. In fact for 5 days I came to a complete stand still.
I had to call on a young couple who lives in a neighboring apartment to come and take Wagsley for walks. They were wonderfully sweet and were happy to help out. It is not easy for me to ask for help. My trust has been broken so many times, that I'd just rather take care of it myself. Another prod from God to show me that I can't do life alone. There will be times when calling on someone to help will be necessary.
I'm back to walking the "wonder dog" myself. We took a walk in the brisk yet sunny dog park today. We were alone as usual and I started to think about this thing called aging. This is my last week before my next birthday. This isn't the big 60, but it marks the beginning of my 60th year. That sounds so strange to me as my mind keeps telling me that I am only 20 and have so much to do. It is like looking down the road and seeing your destination before you, and looking in the rear view mirror and noticing that you can't see where you started any longer. The destination is closer now than the starting point.
It is kind of freaking me out. I'm not afraid of the destination. I just don't feel like I've done anything worth while. I've no legacy, no children to carry on my memory, no great accomplishments that tells the world that I even existed. There are few pictures and some memories, but nothing that I can look at and say, "I did that." Nothing but this blog. I was reminded during my walk that only the things we do for God are those things that matter. This blog is something that I began nearly a year ago, as a form of healing for my broken heart. It has done wonders for me and others have said that they really enjoy it. So perhaps after nearly 60 years of life I am on the right road finally. I'm hearing God's voice and Imagining Jesus along my way in crazy moments, fun times, and along quiet walks.
My car is barrelling toward eternity, but now I Imagine Jesus is the driver. Sometimes I take over, but I'm doing less driving these days and more "scarf clad Audrey Hepburn wind in my hair" riding and laughing. The only time I look in the mirror is to make sure there are no bugs in my teeth. Those are the days that I love. When I let go of control and just surrender to the expert chauffeur, I just seem to be at peace. Imagine Jesus driving Miss Gini.
Life isn't always fun or easy and we weren't promised that it would be. But God does give us grace when we need it, and sends us angels to help out during those dark times. This next year holds so many new experiences and mysteries that have yet to be discovered. I can't wait to see what comes next. This last year was not perfect. I miss my sister, but I was reunited with many family members, some of whom I have not seen in a decade. I broke some ribs, and wrote some poems. I've drawn some pictures and created some graphics. The car is moving forward and there is a lot more road to cover before I reach my destination. Thank you for riding along!
John 16:33 "These things I have spoken to you so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”
1 Thessalonians 5:14 "We urge you, brothers and sisters, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with everyone."
Proverbs 3:5-6 "Trust in the Lord with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight."