Life is a Highway
Like a siren, the light blares at me, blinking angrily on the dashboard and with a sigh, I pull over, my tires thudding in the grooves before crossing, clumsy, onto the shoulder.
The break-down lane. A place of purgatory and waiting. Moving neither forward, onward, upward, or anwhere – stuck like a shoe in mud.
If life is a highway, then I’ve been spending it in the break-down lane.
What a year this has been. Oh, what a year.
Once, when we were newlyweds and starry-eyed crazy in love and in hope, a wise friend told us: “There will be good days and bad days, good weeks and bad weeks, good years, and bad years.”
Bad YEARS? How can this be? We are good people, grateful and honest and kind. We love others, and others love us. How could we ever sustain a bad week, much less a bad year?
Misfortune does not discriminate. It does not pass judgement. It is not selective.
Crises come in threes. And fours, and fives and sixes.
Crises come. Hell happens.
We get through one, we pull through another. We put on the spare tires, we re-fill the oil, we make the repairs and pull out, only to once more pull over and wait.
Where is contentment in this place of waiting, I ask God with a whine in my heart. A whimper of self-centeredness as I watch others driving by, windows down and laughing. The sun shines for them, why not for me? Deceived, I face into the sun where I cannot see the shadows behind them, behind them all as they are behind me.
I can’t take any more of this drama! I want peace, I want stability, I want a break.
Take my side, God—I’m getting kicked around, stomped on every day.
Not a day goes by
but somebody beats me up;
They make it their duty
to beat me up.
When I get really afraid
I come to you in trust…
You’ve kept track of my every toss and turn
through the sleepless nights,
Each tear entered in your ledger…
God, you did everything you promised,
and I’m thanking you with all my heart.,,’
excerpted from Psalm 56, The Message
Despite my petulance, He loves me yet. He smoothes the hair on the back of my head and the ruffled feathers of my indignation, smiling as a parent soothes a child, knowing the lessons yet to be learned and keeping silent, not interfering with the process of learning. Patient with me as with a toddler learning to walk, falling, stumbling, and trying again.
Be good to me, God—and now! I’ve run to you for dear life.
I’m hiding out under your wings
until the hurricane blows over.
I call out to High God,
the God who holds me together.
He sends orders from heaven and saves me,
he humiliates those who kick me around.
God delivers generous love,
he makes good on his word.
excerpted from Psalm 57, The Message