Run, dart, and scamper. Zip, bolt, make haste. Make hay while the sun shines.
Tear out of the driveway and race on down the road. Can’t be late. Put the pedal to the metal.
Have you ever noticed the more you’re in a hurry, the more you’re slowed down? One day last week I decided to avoid my usual mad dash to arrive at an appointment on time and opted for a shorter route, a two-lane road that winds and bends through the countryside to my destination.
It seemed at every kink in the road, I was thrown a curve though – one that slowed me down significantly. The first obstacle occurred at a series of twists that end at the bottom of a hill – a pick-up truck loaded with mattresses and furniture was stopped on the road at the final curve! Forced to slam on my brakes, I avoided hitting it and an accompanying vehicle which was also stopped dead ahead of the truck. Two people from the vehicles stood in the road conversing.
People!! What are you thinking?? Shaking my head in disbelief, I couldn’t imagine why they chose such a dangerous spot to stop. While I was trying to determine if it was safe to drive around them, the two chatters climbed back into their vehicles.
The pick-up drove forward, while the SUV stayed parked until I passed it, then pulled out behind me. The loaded truck moved at a snail’s pace however, and its driver motioned out his window for me to drive around him….on yet another winding curve!
“Are you people crazy?” I cried out loud, waiting for a safer place to pass these lunatics and put them behind me….far behind. Hurriedly, I tried to make up for lost time when yet another obstacle presented itself in my path.
At an intersection, a second pick-up truck with an attached trailer, loaded with mowing and landscaping equipment, spread-eagled in the middle of the road. This guy threw his truck into reverse for some unknown reason and again, I applied the brakes, shaking my head, and beseeching heaven to inquire whether all the crazy drivers were out today.
On I traveled, half expecting more trucks to dart out in front of me. Descending another hill, I noticed obstacle number three slowly wandering out onto the road in front of me. Not one, but two huge wild Tom turkeys crossed my path, taking their good old time and forcing me to slow down considerably.
“What the heck?” I thought. And of course, I had forgotten to grab my camera before I left the house, so I couldn’t even snap a photo of these two gobblers out gallivanting. A couple miles further along, my journey halted to a complete stop. Road construction. Backed up long line of traffic. Forced to stop.
Forced to stop, I thought. Stop, drop, and roll ran through my mind. Well, I certainly had stopped, the interval of time left to get to my destination was dropping, and I sure wasn’t rolling! No wait… another thought entered my mind… Stop and smell the roses.
I surveyed my surroundings. No roses anywhere on the side of this road. What’s that little sign say? “Queen mattress set. Brand New!! Only $150. Call xxx-xxx-xxx.”
Oh look, another sign by the side of the road. “Need a car? Auto sales at [this location].” More signs over there. Hmmm…a parcel of land – “36 Acres For Sale.”
And over there…a politician’s campaign sign. And there…a local high school presents the musical, “Oliver.” And beside it, a sign proclaiming “100 Years of Broadway” at another high school.
As traffic moved slowly forward, more signs attracted my attention. “Kids Count.” Yes, they certainly do. “1 bedroom apt for rent.” “Need a loan?” “Eye Exams Available.” “Single? Find love @ ♥♥♥.com.”
And then I spied this sign on a business marquee: “Steph, Will you go to Prom with me? Mike.” Mike evidently had figured out how to find love, I bet, or at least a prom date.
I’ve never noticed these signs before even though I travel this road several times a week. What else haven’t I noticed in my hurry to get where I’m going? And that reminded me of a sign I once read in a Pennsylvania Dutch gift shop – “The hurrier I go, the behinder I get.”
Eventually, I resumed my trip. But this time, instead of flying by my surroundings, I take notice. There’s a man out working up the soil in his small garden plot, preparing to plant some seeds no doubt.
And over there on the corner, that looks like a retired gentleman walking his dog in the sunshine of a spring afternoon. I watch him as he stops, picks up trash littering the sidewalk, and deposits it in the trash receptacle just a couple of steps away, which some litter bug evidently didn’t utilize.
Bright blue balloons wave in a little gust of wind capturing my attention. Oh, the Christian school on this street hosted an open house last night. The sign tells me so.
These signs, which seem so insignificant, tell me something else. I think it’s truly God’s plan to slow me down, show me the things I haven’t observed before, and speak to me through some small thing I may just be noticing for the first time.
So today in my book of Opportunity, I’m convinced that 1) I need to stop racing through life and 2) I also need to break out of my trance-like routine and stop and smell the roses.
“Life is one big road with lots of signs. So when you’re riding through the ruts, don’t complicate your mind. Flee from hate, mischief and jealousy. Don’t bury your thoughts, put your vision to reality. Wake up and live!” ~ Bob Marley
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