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Vigil: Bumps in the road keep us awake

Vigil: Bumps in the road keep us awake


Some of the best journeys I’ve taken have been on the worst roads.

Bouncing along over a gravel road meandering through the Sandhills of Nebraska or into the mountains of Colorado have been quite the adventure. It’s a good thing I don’t have many brain cells left, because they get rattled around often.

One never knows what is coming around the bend on those trips and that helps keep our focus on what is ahead. Of course, the beauty off to the side of the road can sometimes be distracting and our wheels wander off the path.

Gail, my wife, and I were driving from Broken Bow to Gothenburg a couple of summers ago and I forgot I was driving for a brief moment. That section of road is one of the most beautiful spots in Nebraska.

The hills open up into a fabulous valley that is lush green and I was enjoying the view so much, I didn’t see the turn coming. The car hit the shoulder and the sound of gravel jarred me abruptly out of my fantasy world.

I didn’t panic, thank God, and kept control as I navigated the turn. Gail’s face showed anxiety and her cry for me to “Watch out” set my heart rate soaring. Thankfully, the car didn’t go flying through the air.

Many things in life are predictable, but some are not. It comes down to preparation and consistency as we journey through this life we’ve been granted.

Moments of indecision and distraction sometimes cost us a heavy price, but we have a choice as to learn from those things. Since that incident, I do all I can to keep my eyes on the road and when I want to view the beauty around me, I pull over and take the time to breathe it all in.

Preparation certainly needs to include learning about the pitfalls that sometimes sneak up on us. However, I prefer to look at things from a positive expectancy.

If we work at stability — spiritually, emotionally, psychologically, physically — life can be an adventure rather than a burden.

Full disclosure, it can be very difficult to maintain that outlook when the storms of life threaten and I’m not very good at it. My anger can sometimes override that positive view and I have to follow that up with asking for forgiveness from the people I love.

When I hit that big pothole in the road and am having to change a tire in the difficult elements of nature, what I learn from that incident is just as important as the things I learn when I’m doing it all right.

No one in this world has it all figured out. I don’t.

There should be no quit in us when those things happen. The journey cannot begin all over again so we have a choice. Pick up where we hit a snag and keep moving forward or die where we left the road.

When life runs a little smoother, appreciate the blessings you have and take the time to prepare for the next curve in the road, expected or not.

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