In looking at the culture we live in I can’t think of a better description of daily life than driving fast down the wrong road. We can easily assume we just need to jump on the highway of contemporary American culture and drive fast enough to stay up, without ever asking if it’s the right road.
What do I mean by driving fast?
Busyness is held as the inescapable norm – so do it all the way.
How many times have we expressed how busy we are to others in our conversations and heard it from others. It is a badge of honor in our culture that we are driving as fast as everyone else: making every appointment, involving our kids in every opportunity, making sure the calendar has no days unplanned.
But instead of the feeling of the wind blowing through our hair – it is more like a recurring scene from the end of the world movie where the hero out drives the disaster in the rear view mirror trying to swallow you up. We moan and groan about the pressure and the hectic pace, but we know we would be seen as a failure to not keep up. Those who are able to drive the fastest the longest are envied and held in high esteem.
Satisfaction is found in the destination not the drive – so the more destinations the better.
We are convinced that it is the places which satisfy, so the faster we can drive the more places we can go. We push a little harder on the gas so we can get there faster, so we can then get somewhere else. We take a picture and post it on social media to prove we were there.
Life becomes the pursuit of destinations that are temporary and never as good as the next one we want to get to. In between “drive” time becomes the necessary evil we have to endure. The more we drive the more we are frustrated so we try to go faster to reach more temporary destinations.
If everyone is doing it, it must be right – right?
When we start driving we see the majority of the cars jumping on the highway. We just assume that must be the right way to go – driving fast must be the way to live. To do otherwise would be out of step, to do otherwise doesn’t seem to be an option. Where is another model? Everyone else seems to be bucking it up and getting on the highway – so it must be right – right?
How can I say it’s the wrong road?
Does it really lead to what you want? How does it end?
Stopping long enough to evaluate the highway of life you are driving is to truly see where it leads. A life committed to driving fast on the highway has many ways to not end well. The destinations promised to satisfy never do. The stress of always pushing takes its toll on relationships instead of helping them.
We end up either driving too fast to stop for people or we run them over. When life’s obstacles appear around a curve we end up in a crash before we knew what happened. The highway seems to be taking us somewhere – but the end of the road is not good.
Do you know what you are driving by?
Another pitfall of driving fast is not seeing what we have gone by. How many times have parents looked up and they have a grown up child and we wonder where the time went. In all our time trying to get to the next place and keep the schedule – we miss the simple and meaningful times of life.
It is like running a marathon as fast as you can, but all you see is the other runners around you and the race is over. What difference does it make if the race was in Boston or Austin if you never looked outside of the race?
You can Enjoy the walk.
The truth that culture hides is that you can and will enjoy the walk. Get off the highway and see what you have been driving by. Take the side roads and the less traveled paths. There will be less money, less possessions, less activity, less resume building, less popularity and status, and you may never be happier and more content. The exact opposite of what the highway billboards sell.
It is time to quit thinking a relationship with God is texting Him while we drive fast on the highway. When we get off the highway we have a chance to actually live as Jesus desires for us. To walk with Him day by day and be amazed at what He does on the side roads. He waits to see who comes off the Highway either by choice hoping for something different, or by ambulance after a crash.
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