Driving Lessons

It was a sunny day last week when I had a 20-25 minute drive to an appointment, so I picked a song on my iPhone at the traffic light right before I hit the interstate. I started iPod genius because, well, iPod genius is just genius. Then something went crazy with the iPod, and it started playing a different song, and it got stuck and wouldn’t change. So I wound up with a random mix of the several thousand songs of my iPod.

As I drove and listened, I thought about how so much of music defines me.

A song came on and it was Mayberry by Rascal Flatts, and it’s all about longing for a slower pace of life…how technology has overtaken our lives and there’s this desire to sit on the front porch and know your neighbors and just take time to rest. I love the line about Sunday–how Sundays used to be a day of rest and now they’re just a day for progress, and I found myself nodding and saying, “Yes” and “Amen” to a country song. What has happened to us? What have we done in our Christian culture and in our world with rest?

Then next thing I knew, I heard Chris Tomlin singing All the Way My Savior Leads Me, and while I drove and I wiped tears from my face, because it’s my favorite hymn (although he sings it to a different tune). And I found myself praying, “Yes, Lord, You are sovereign. You are sovereign over the songs that come on my iPod. You knew for some reason these are the songs that I needed to hear this morning.” And then I asked the Lord to be with me and continue to lead and to break my heart and help me long for Him and live for Him.

Then the next thing I knew the Beatles came on and I heard a love song, and they were singing about life and love and relationship. I thought about Brian. So much of my life with him is me just being selfish and placing expectations on him that are not good or real or healthy. And I thanked God for my husband and for love. And I wept over his faithfulness to me when I am so difficult to live with.

And then the music changed to a salsa. Instrumental. I found my feet tapping and my fingers snapping and halfway through I just laughed because I was snapping on the 2/4 beat. I thought about my friend, Sandy, who has taught us how the Spanish culture snaps on 1/3 and keeps the 1/3 beat. So I tried to switch over and I couldn’t because the 2/4 beat is so natural to me. Then I laughed because it made me think of Sandy’s beautiful laugh and I could hear it ringing it my ears. I thanked God for the way she brings laughter and encouragement into my life.

Then it moved from a Spanish salsa to a Rachmaninoff piece that was contemplative and smooth and peaceful, and I thought about how that’s what I long for in my life. It’s been hectic lately. I’m going to doctor appointments six or more times a week and spending 6 hours a week at Physical Therapy for a torn rotator cuff… and I’m working and Brian’s traveling and the kids are running track, and it just doesn’t feel peaceful.

And yet it the midst of it all God brought rest.

He gave me 25 minutes in the car, and He gave me music, and He gave me peace.

How good of God that something so small like an iPod jamming can turn into a beautiful reminder of what my life is all about.

And what a beautiful life God has given me!

Thank you, Lord, for Mayberry reminders and jammed iPods and for quiet times of rest and for friends whose laughter rings in my ears. For my husband and children. For life. For LIFE. Thank you.

3 responses to “Driving Lessons”

  1. This almost persuades me to buy an iPod genius. 🙂

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    1. Hey Angie…that song by Rascal Flatts, and how we need rest on Sundays…great minds. I alluded to that very thing in my post today. How it is important to slow down…how everything is so hurried…how we feel the need to do more, all the time, and we forget to stop and enjoy just being together.

      We lead parallel lives, Angie. 🙂 I hope you are doing well these days. I’ve been thinking of you, even if I haven’t reached out to you. I need to be better about that…about reaching out. Take care.

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  2. This is why I love my commute! Yes, it does make some aspects of life a little more hectic, but for 2 1/2 hours each day I am forced to just be (well, and pay attention to the road). Shuffling the songs on my iPod (that send me down memory lane or show me a new appreciation for those in my life), praying a Rosary, driving in silence, or seeing God all around me in His creation – all things I get to do daily that I wouldn’t if I didn’t have time in the car.

    I’m so often asked about my commute – in a stunned sort of way that I actually drive that far every day – and these are all the reasons I love it. I think I will start saying “I’m God’s captive audience” when people ask about it!

    Thank-you for sharing this today!

    Prayers that the shoulder is feeling better soon!

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