One morning you walk out of the house, you get in the car and start driving. Once on the highway, you set the desired speed by pushing the cruise control button. Not long after you effortlessly cover a mile, other vehicles start catching up to you and cutting you off, making you tap on the brakes and even switch lanes! So much for a smooth roadtrip.
I noticed how frustrated I would get with this type of situation and realized something: the intentional life is very similar to that, too.
I’m not always going to be able to set it to cruise and have the smooth journey I wanted.
The simple life does not translate into sitting out on the porch all day sipping on lemonade or what have you. The road can be quite difficult.
Living intentionally requires me to be actively engaged, as when driving a car, and have the ability to make adjustments along the way: switch lanes, monitor the blindspots, merge, yield, proceed when there’s a right of way, tap or even hit the brakes sometimes, speed back up, check the rear mirrors, side mirrors, etc, etc. It’s work!
After a while, driving a vehicle can even teach us life lessons (bicycles count, too)! I’ve learned two things on the road that can help us all live a more simple and intentional life:
- Scan the road ahead. One of the things I’ve learned from going to Driving School a couple of times (not proud of it) is to scan ahead so I can spot any road hazards, debris, or anything that could cause an accident, or even a pile-up, especially if visibility is low.
When we ask God for wisdom when facing choices or weighing important decisions and seek the counsel of prudent people we know, it’s just like scanning the road ahead of us; we can avoid or decrease headaches, heartaches, and even conflicts in certain situations in life.
- Give yourself margin. If more people would only follow the two-second rule, there wouldn’t be so many fender benders or multiple-car accidents on the highways. It’s such a simple rule, but it may not be so easy to comply.
With busyness and hurry controlling our lives, we deceive ourselves thinking that tailgating the car in front of us will get us where we need to be faster, but it won’t. Remember: if you hit that car, you’re automatically at fault; at least in Florida you are.
And you’ll probably hang out for about an hour or two.
Sometimes in the rain.
That’s why giving yourself some margin and keeping the distance when needed will make for a more smoother ride. Setting boundaries or drawing the line in relationships and schedules will make for a much less stressful life. It invites more respect and allows for more freedom, too.
That works both ways, by the way, so don’t overstep people’s boundaries; the statistics don’t lie so we know a collision has the potential to cause much damage and pain, to both parties, short and long term.
I pray we’ll all drive safe to arrive where we want to go. 😉