I’m sitting in traffic on 202, something that has become part of my morning routine. It’s a construction zone. I join hundreds (thousands?) of other people in a solid, 2-lane mass of cars, creeping along the rolling curves of road. It’s morning drive time. The rhythmic nature of my foot moving from the gas pedal to the brake pedal, the music playing from the iPod, and the sun streaming through the clouds makes the experience meditative.
This day, my eye catches some abnormal movement in my rear-view mirror. When I focus my attention to take a look, two solid lanes of traffic are dividing right up the middle. I spot the ambulance, its flashers blazing, driving only slightly faster, advancing through the space made between the lanes of cars as they move out of the way. The slow-motion scene in my rearview mirror finally catches up to me. I move my car to the right, off the roadway, onto the shoulder. The ambulance passes. Then, I watch as the emergency vehicle disappears into the sea of cars in front of me, crawling along, and I re-focus my attention to the song playing through the speakers: Life is wonderful. Life goes full-circle. I pray for the people that the ambulance is heading towards.
Eventually, I come upon the accident scene on the side of the road. The EMTs are huddled around the door of a locked car, working on opening it up. It doesn’t look good, from my perspective. I continue on my way to work and find myself acutely aware that it all could have been a dream. Because here I am, sitting in traffic on 202 again.
It’s been a few weeks since I witnessed the scene on the side of the road. And yet it stays in my memory, as clearly as if it had happened yesterday. I find myself wondering, what are you trying to tell me, God?
All those things have vanished like a shadow,
and like a rumor that passes by,
like a ship that sails through the billowy water,
and when it has passed no trace can be found,
nor track of its keel in the water…
– Wisdom 5:9-10
I wonder about the person who was in the locked car. Has their life changed significantly since that day? The life of their family?
Recently, my college-aged daughter made the decision not to return to the school 3,000 miles away that she chose as a freshman. The reasons are many, but they all converge to where we are today. She’s taking classes at a local university and hopes to be a bit closer to home when she moves to a new college next semester.
I wonder about her experience. Her year of living in a strange and new place. The things she learned. The ways she matured. The path she took to get to today. Today, I am acutely aware that her keel has steered her in a new direction. The year she spent there has changed her. The path was not an easy one. And yet, today, she is radiant, and energized, and happy.
Life is wonderful. Life goes full-circle.
Today, I give thanks for the ways that God steers us through the rough waters. I invite you to do the same.