Monday, September 10, 2007

Driving at Night

I hate driving at night. I don't see very well, for one thing. Yes, I know it's dark and no one sees well at night, except my cats, who can attack a wiggling toe under the covers without the aid of even a tiny night light. But I have trouble beyond that.

First, car lights and street lights seem to spread out and run together. It's hard for me to tell where one begins and another ends, let alone which lane the cars are in. If you add a little rain, I'm toast. I did recently get some nifty driving glasses with an anti-glare treatment that help some.

Maybe this is an indication I'm getting old. When I was a kid and someone would complain about taking my friends and me somewhere at night because of driving in the dark, we would roll our eyes and say, "The car has lights." If there were justice in this world, we would have received at least five or ten lashes for that.

Anyway, this past weekend, it was time for our semi-annual trek to the bluegrass festival. As you may recall, it's way out in the country, and my mother, my husband and I headed out Friday night to catch up with the rest of the family. My mom doesn't drive and Dave wasn't feeling well, so that left me. Driving in the dark.

And I do mean dark. For miles at a time I wouldn't see lights from houses or towns, just black woods on either side, with that one patch of light from the headlights right in front of my car. I was doing pretty well for the most part. After all, I was wearing my new glasses. Then I lost my focus for a few seconds. I glanced up and saw that the headlights of the car I was meeting were coming at me at a weird angle. For a second or two, I felt panicky. I wanted to jerk the wheel and straighten up the car, because I felt as though I were running off the road, but I gripped the wheel and hung on. My emotions were telling me to turn. My head tried to tell myself nothing had changed; I was right on track.

A couple of seconds later, my headlights showed me that the road was about to curve, and I do mean curve. Now it was time to gently turn the wheel and go with the road. Now everything made sense. That's why the car lights were coming at me from about a 70 degree angle.

I've mentioned this verse in an earlier post: "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path." That time I mentioned an illustration I'd heard of a flashlight--that God's word and his guidance are like that. They only show us one step at a time.

Well, in this day and age, I guess his Word could also be compared to headlights. It shows us all we need to keep the car running smoothly and on the road. But take your eye off the road right in front of you, off of that lighted spot right in front of your own vehicle, and you lose your focus. You get confused and think you're off track even when you're not. You may even panic and want to jerk that wheel, to take that curve in the road before you're ready for it.

My prayer for all of us this week is that we keep our eyes on the road, stay safe--and complete that journey that God has in store for us.