Thursday, April 1, 2010

Drive Slow?


I drive fast. And I like to drive to fast. I don't know why. Sometimes it's from poor planning so I am rushed to be somewhere on time. Sometimes it's because I feel agitated, and I do things fast when I feel that way. Part of it is feeling like driving is a waste of my time, and I want to get it over with quickly. I just seem to rush, rush, rush whenever I drive.

It's all catching up with me. I got a warning from a police officer about seven months ago because I was speeding in a school zone. It wasn't intentional...my mind was on other things (homeschooling books that I had just bought at the thrift store!) and I just didn't notice that I was in the school zone. He gave me a warning, I felt stupid, and gave myself some sort of mental scolding for always pushing it when I drive.

This morning I was late getting Will to his preschool. My mind was very preoccupied as I drove, and so I didn't notice that the speed limit had just changed from 45 to 35...and I was going 49. Blue lights in the rear-view. I thought "Seriously?!" And my next thought was "Lord, you are trying to teach me something and apparently I am not listening". I accepted my ticket graciously and knew I deserved it. Even though my speeding wasn't intentional this morning, I usually DO speed and it usually IS intentional and I just think that I won't get caught. And I rationalize it away too..."the speed limit is 35 here but shouldn't be...it SHOULD be 50 so I'll go that". It's terrible, really.

It was good for me to be honest with my children that what I am doing is wrong and that I need God's grace to stop speeding. It was good for me to be humble before them and admit wrong-doing and that I struggle with sin...I think that God used the situation for good to build deeper transparency and grace in our family relationships.

But at the end of the day, I still want to stop speeding and figure out why I drive my car and myself so hard. I am so weary of having my default setting being anxiety-driven. I want to live out of a peaceful, trusting place not out of a fretful, pushy place. God is allowing something as simple as speeding tickets to teach me to trust, to slow, to relinquish control...to choose in my dailiness to walk by faith in His sovereign, gracious character.

Oh I really want to learn these heart lessons. I really do.


photo credit

12 comments:

Natalie said...

Aimee,
I can definitely relate to living fast- too fast. I, too, am struggling through the lessons of slowing down the pace of my life, my mind, my spirit. So glad we have a God who is long suffering and always willing to give us another chance!

Marianna said...

I'm afraid that I have the same habit...mine is just that a habit. I tend to drive a little too aggressively (not cutting people off or anything, just pushing the limits) if I'm late. Thankfully, that doesn't happen too often, but still a bad practice.

Knowing all the city police speed traps makes it that much harder to stop! I only slow down where I know I have to!

Amber DeYoung said...

I know just how you feel, not the speeding part, but about pussing myself so hard and living in the constant sate of anxiety. Mine stems from always trying to keep everyone around me happy and not taking care of myself.

otter_pop19 said...

Great realizations. If you think of it terms of legality it IS a really big deal. It's breaking the law. Even though it doesn't seem as severe as other "crimes" it really is. Also, think of it in terms of a sin a sin...period. Maybe it would help to think of the potential harm you could cause to yourself, others, and your children. It's scary and we do tend to overlook/justify our driving habits.

To alleviate the stress while driving try listening to some soothing music in the car...seriously. It will have great effects on your mental well-being.

Oh and I love the pic. It "moves" me! :)

otter_pop19 said...

Oh and chill out you guys! Life is way too short to be living in a constant state of stress and anxiety!

Aimee said...

yes, you are right..in legality it IS wrong...and I do justify it. I would say that theologically it is a sin is a sin is a sin but practically it isn't as severe as murder, adultery, etc. That's why it's easy to downplay it.

And yes, I would love to just "chill out"...oh if it were just that easy :) I think we have differing personality types...type A personalities or high do-ers have a very difficult time not giving in to anxiety. Phlegmatic personalites like my husbands and maybe yours are more laid-back by nature and don't struggle in this area and take life more easily as it comes to them. My personality takes over-responsibility for other people quite often which leads me to a stressful state...my laid back buddies don't struggle with this...in fact many of them struggle with under-responsibility.

Bonita said...

I used to speed too, but somewhere along the way I got better about that, but now I get miffed at driver's that get in my way or that are going too slow. I'm working on that one now because one day I heard my pastor say that when we act this way we are being impatient because of pride. Oops!

Granted, sometimes my lack of organization is the root issue for the impatience, but often it is simply pride. I want others to get out of my way because what I have to do is so much more important than what they have to do, though I don't always realize Im' thinking this way.

I'm really loving these transparent posts you're writing. They are bringing to light so many things that I need to face and deal with. Keep 'em coming!

donna rae said...

Oh, Aimee, I had the same experience several years ago with my (then) young children in the car. It taught me and them a valuable lesson in being honest and gracious about our mistakes. I still drive too fast, both in my car and in my daily walk, but I catch myself doing it and slow down. I now convince myself that by slowing me down, God is allowing me to miss being involved in the accident (vehicular or otherwise) I may see up ahead.

Bennett and McConnell Family said...

This is beautiful, Aimee! I love the concept of transparency and humility, even before our children.

Bennett and McConnell Family said...

ps Just saw what you wrote about differing personalities - so true. My husband, too, is so much more patient and never has to RUSH like I do. Interestingly, I think it relates to something in your previous post - insecurity. I'm afraid I'll miss something, or won't do something well enough or whatever, and it does make me push my self. My Mike certainly strives for excellence, but he does so from a place of self-acceptance, not self-flagellation (sp?), as I often do. Don't know if that makes sense to you, but something I've observed!

Laura said...

We all need to learn -- or be reminded of -- those lessons. Thanks for your honest post.

Come on over for some mom inspiration and encouragement!

Pom Pom said...

One year I got a lot of speeding tickets. I was driving all the kids around so much that I finally had to commit to using the cruise control all the time. It helped, but it is a fantastic metaphor for the way we rush. They say Jesus was always moving and never rushed. Whew.