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Narrow it Down
By: Rachelle Hamlin
Fort Fairfield Journal, May 9, 2018
On a sweet, spring day, I left church alone for a quiet drive through the countryside. On a whim I asked the Lord to teach me how to be a better driver. To my surprise I immediately began to see the road in a whole new way; I became hyperaware of it and of my surroundings. My observations became less global and more specific. I became focused on my lane and realized I was on a strong trajectory forward in a heavy vehicle and had to be careful. Driving this way became enjoyable, and I wondered why I felt as if I didn’t have to consider what was happening in the other lanes, or behind me. It was all about where I was going so fast and what I needed to think of in order to stay safe.
As time went by and George and I practiced this new way to drive aware of what was happening or about to happen in our lane, we gained more respect for others and our responses to their needs improved. Unnecessary distractions disappeared as did daydreaming behind the wheel. Sightseeing as a driver was out, destination was in. Road rage, even road dissatisfaction was gone. Lines, signs and lights became friends, not foes. Life as a passenger and life as a driver became clearly distinct. The driver's seat became a coveted place. We learned that drivers are on the job and not there to socialize. They serve us just as do the military, restaurateurs and the police, and deserve our respect.
There is a life lesson here.
By focusing, on the few elements truly important to excellent driving skills, a kind of happiness attached itself to our driving. This happiness comes from being aware that there is true value in time spent caring for our vehicles, caring for the safety of our family and friends and caring about other people on the roads.
We are living in a time when we are shaking off many of the curses we inherited from the fall of Adam and Eve. This following quote by Dr. Roger De Haan is from his excellent book, Restoring the Creation Mandate.
“Adam, our genetic progenitor, failed in his mission. Instead of caring tenderly for the creation so it would become abundantly fruitful, he seeded corruption into the universe and we have willingly trudged along in his footsteps.”
This issue of caring tenderly for the creation figures into my point exactly. It stands to reason that we would become happy as we regain focus on things that are important and move us toward a goal of caring tenderly about what our personal lives ought to be about. Recently friends helped us plant two maturing Meyer Lemon trees and a Key Lime tree. I already made my first Key Lime pie. Caring tenderly for the creation? That was a slice of unparalleled happiness.
Somehow our society pushes so many unnecessary factoids into our brains that we end up carrying the weight of the world on our shoulders. We think that by grieving we are doing something to alleviate the pain. By crying out in protest, it will end. But that is meddling in someone else’s territory. Jesus said; “Cast your cares upon me. My yoke is easy; my burden is light.” Grief and protest are wasted energy. We need to take care of the part of creation that has been given to us personally. We need to be all about narrowing our cares down to only what we can actually do something about, and do it well and lovingly.
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