I recently found myself in bumper to bumper traffic, something that is a semi-regular occurrence for me. I was inching along when a full-sized pick-up truck squeezed in front of my relatively small car. I instantly felt annoyed, a reaction that I recognized as not being completely rational. After all, it’s not like I was going anywhere fast. One vehicle cutting in front of me wasn’t exactly going to slow me down.
After a few minutes, I realized it wasn’t so much that a vehicle had pulled in front of me, it was that a big vehicle had pulled in front of me. The truck was blocking my view. I wanted to be able to see down the road, not just to the end of my bumper. Hence my feelings of agitation…
It struck me how similar that scenario is to our perception of life. We don’t want any obstacles blocking our view. We want to be able to see down the road unobstructed. And we expend a whole lot of energy being impatient with anything that stands between us and that view.
The truck eventually moved into a different lane, and I instantly felt relief. Nothing had changed about the traffic except that I could see down the road again. The irony is that I still didn’t know a single thing about what was ahead than I’d known when the truck was blocking my view.
Visibility doesn’t always bring clarity.
A short time later, the traffic cleared just as suddenly as it had gridlocked. I’ll never know the reason for the delay but, even if I did, it wouldn’t have changed one inescapable fact…
I would have had to wait regardless.
Life is like that. You can think you have a clear enough view of the future to know what’s going to happen down the road but, once you get there, you realize it was just an illusion. Things might turn out differently than you’d thought – either for better or for worse – and you may never know the reason why. But, regardless, the journey will still most likely take the same amount of time.
I guess the point I’m trying to make is that it seems to me that we spend far too much energy living in the future. I think it would be foolish not to give it any consideration. But, it would be equally foolish to live there.
As the Bible says, “sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof” (Matthew 6:34b).
Basically, every day has enough trouble of its own. So, why not just take it one step at a time?
After all – like it or not – no one has ever been able to do anything but…