So today, I was on my way to pick my son up from school, and driving in front of me was an elderly gentleman (because isn’t there always one when you want to be early?). He caught my attention – not because of his age or the ‘seen-better-days’ state of his car – but because he seemed so mesmerized by everything BUT the road in front of him. Now, granted, we are one week post-hurricane Irma. So, though we weren’t hit very hard (thank God), there’s something to see, if you’re interested enough. And clearly, he was interested. I was patient with his natural curiosity about that sign and this debris and their yard – until he started veering, past the middle of the road into oncoming traffic. When he made it back into his lane just in time to avoid an irate driver, I breathed a sigh of relief. Until he started doing it again. (At which point, I probably breathed something else, but hey, God’s still working on me.)
I continued to watch this guy, waving to people at the curb, his car waving right along with him. I barely registered the opportunities to overtake him, thinking: “But why? Why would you continue to do the same thing that nearly got you creamed just now?”
And then it hit me. This guy really isn’t so different from most of us. We try to run our race, but sometimes we get distracted by whatever someone else’s storm has exposed. We take our eyes off our lane and inevitably we drift, losing time – or the race – that way. But worse, we can drift too far and end up in a place we have no business being. We could get hurt. Or creamed.
But we don’t. And we’re relieved, but it won’t make much difference. Because the truth is, that other lane is just too pretty, too tempting, too juicy to resist. So we keep playing the odds, daring fate – not because we don’t know better, but because it’s just easier to stick with the destructive behaviour we know than it is to submit to the discipline that’s unfamiliar.
I guess in the end, it just takes less effort to get creamed in someone else’s lane than it does to survive in our own.