On a trip, Jane is driving while John enjoys the scenery. Jane likes to drive; although she denies it, she doesn’t have the best sense of direction and needs help navigating.
The trip is going great. However, in the distance, a small dark cloud is forming. Jane contemplates, “I hope I get home before it starts to storm.” She drives just a little faster. The menacing clouds grow ever closer. Jane ponders, “I wonder if I can beat the storm home?” She pushes the gas pedal down. John looks at her and frowns, asking, “Jane, are you going a little fast?” Jane ignores his concerns, “No, I am fine.” Jane’s mind races through all the to-do’s waiting at home, including getting the kids from their friends, going to the kennel for the dogs, grocery shopping – all before everything closes. Thinking about the deadlines, she completely loses track of the impending storm.
Out of what Jane thinks is nowhere, the rain begins pounding down, the wind buffets the car, and the growing fog on the windshield clouds Jane’s vision. Without thinking, Jane reaches down to turn on the defroster. John warns Jane to be careful and offers to turn on the defroster. Jane, annoyed, responds, “I can do it.”
On slick roads and going too fast, the car swerves all over the highway. John, in a quiet, still voice, utters, “Take your foot off the gas, don’t put your foot on the brake pedal, and steer into the spin.” Jane knows that this is precisely what to do. Taking her foot off the gas, she fights her pressing desire to slam her foot onto the brake pedal. Steering into the spin, Jane regains control.
With a pounding heart, Jane questions, “How in the world did that happen, that storm came out of nowhere. I sure did not see that coming!”
The rain continues to pound on the roof of the car, echoing in Jane’s ears. Jane turns to John, questioning, “Should we stop?” John inquires, “Can you see the white lines on the road?” “Yes!” Jane replies, still wondering if she should stop, she keeps driving.
A road sign comes into sight, announcing a turn-off. Jane, declares out loud but not really asking, “Gee, maybe I should take this turn, go another direction, it might be easier.” John patiently responses, “Have you ever gone that way? Do you know if you can get home taking that route?” Jane, still wondering, resists her reaction to take another route.
As the turn-off nears, Jane again questions, “Maybe I should try my way?” John, looking at the GPS, finds no other options than the current route. “Can you see the white lines, Jane?”, he unwaveringly asks. Jane continues driving, thinking, well maybe my way is better, others are getting off and doing it their way.
Jane, noticing a rest area ahead, thinks about stopping. All the time, forgetting about her list of deadlines and ignoring how her actions will affect others. John also spots the rest-stop. Looking at Jane, he asks, “Are you ok, can you still see the road?” Jane takes a moment and realizes, yes, she is doing fine, she can see the road. The rain and wind are subsiding. She keeps driving.
“Look, there’s the exit for home!”, Jane exclaims.
John instructs Jane to pull over to the side of the road and stop. Puzzled why Jane does as he asks. John directs Jane to turn around and look behind her. He points out all the cars that stopped are still in the storm. Jane nods her head and thinks, “If I had not kept going, I would still be in the storm. I am glad I had help and did not go off the path”.
This is based on a story shared by Pastor Michael Ruttlen at the recent revival meeting. As a side comment, if you missed the revival, you missed a great time!
Pastor Ruttlen’s story brought the recovery process to mind. Now, re-read this story and think about your recovery. Are you in denial about your struggles? Do you have a plan? Do you question your plan? Do you have a sponsor/accountability partner to help you?
Join us at CR to find the help you need; yes, we all see ourselves in this story.
Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil. Proverbs 4:26-27