Tuesday, November 27, 2007

In "Other" Words--Life on the Autobahn

"One reason we are so harried and hurried is that we make yesterday and tomorrow our business, when all that legitimately concerns us is today. If we really have too much to do, there are some items on the agenda which God did not put there. Let us submit the list to Him and ask Him to indicate which items we must delete. There is always time to do the will of God. If we are too busy to do that, we are too busy."

~ Elisabeth Elliott ~

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I do my best thinking in the driver's seat. Maybe that's one very big plus about living in Germany; I get plenty of opportunities for some good meditation on the Autobahn! Sure, the good, hard, intense studies can't be done going 100mph, but what better time to fill one's mind with the deep thoughts of God and His purposes than while navigating the busy highway surrounded by people who would rather leave you in their dust than be courteous? It's very calming....although I still detest rush hour traffic!

Oddly enough, I've learned some very valuable lessons from my hours of driving. One of the most important is related to this week's quote. In the US, we have an understanding that the left lane is for passing...but we don't always see people using it for that purpose. Too often, you get one yahoo who wants to get in the left hand lane and slow everyone down by doing JUST shy of the speed limit and remaining blissfully oblivious to the growing line of annoyed drivers behind him. Here in Germany, we don't see that very often. Perhaps a lot of it has to do with the fact that if you linger too long in that left lane, you are going to be blown off the road by a teeny little Audi or Porsche bent on breaking the land speed record, but it's mostly because you can actually be ticketed here for driving in the passing lane. It's the LAW, and Germans do take their driving laws to heart! At any rate, though, that passing lane is not where you want to just take up residence for any extended period of time, because it not only impedes faster drivers, but you just don't need to be going THAT fast for so long. Driving at a high rate of speed can impair your reaction time, and it surely affects your concentration.

Similarly, living life "in the fast lane" like so many Americans are doing nowadays can stretch one's concentration too thin. Life starts to get blurry when you're constantly bouncing from one activity to the next, and the purpose of life is often the first thing to fade. I have been embarrassed when driving sometimes I get so stuck on passing a slow driver that I miss my exit or a turn or even my destination. We do that with our harried schedule as well. We may fully intend for our flurry of do-goodness, of running hither and yon with school activities, youth group activities, extracurricular activities, church work, ministering to those who need help, and just day to day life that we lose sight of what we were trying to do in the first place.

It's time to slow down. Put our emphasis on the things of God, but let HIM dictate what those things should be...not what everyone else around us expects of us. It's okay to be in the fast lane for a little while so we don't run over those around us who are just a tad less active, but life shouldn't be lived in the fast lane. There's too much to miss--maybe even our destination!

This week's In "Other" Words is being hosted by Sarah. Visit her blog To Motherhood And Beyond to read her thoughts and link to other participants!


lori said...

Did you ever notice that those souls who ride in the left lane seem so 'unaffected' and 'unphased?' We just drove 28 hours round trip for Thanksgiving, so your analogy really hit me! The fast lane, while it has it's place is not the place to live....:)
As always, you made me think about it:)
great post Kris...
I'll be slowing down now:)

MiPa said...

Great post! Bless you for sharing.

Heather@Mommymonk said...

Life does get blurry when we live in the fast lane and we can't concentrate very well. We start missing exits and losing sight of what's really important. That's why I prefer country dirt roads through farms, fields and forests.

ellen b said...

I really enjoyed reading your analogy for this theme. It's good to move over and slow up to get centered in our lives. Blessings on you this season...

Amy Grant Bayliss said...

Great analogy! It really drove home (no pun intended). ;o)

Sarah said...

Thank you for sharing!! You know, I've started to notice that some people actually take pride in being busy like it is a goal to be attained. If you are busy...you are actually doing something important. God is leading me to simplicity and I am really enjoying the journey.

Thanks again!!


Peej said...

Super analogy! I, too, do my best thinking while driving and I often come close to missing my turns/exits. You really nailed it on the head.

Laurel Wreath said...

Oh my goodness I love your analogy, you make this quote come alive. And I totally saw my husband in it driving, hehe =))

"It's okay to be in the fast lane for a little while so we don't run over those around us who are just a tad less active, but life shouldn't be lived in the fast lane."


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