Monday, January 25, 2010

Get out of my way! -or- Pondering Pickled Pigs Feet

I am a very impatient driver, especially on long trips. It is boring to set in a car for hours. I have a destination that I want to get to and I want to be there, not get there.

It is most annoying when I have to drive on a 2 lane road and get stuck behind a slow poke driver or, even worse a huge 18 wheeler because I am not only slowed down by it, but I can't even see around it to find a place to pass unless I drift a little into the other lane taking a chance I will be bug smacked by an oncoming vehicle.

The worst is to be on a curvy road stuck behind an 18 wheeler. I can't see around it without sneaking out into the other oncoming lane, but even when I do sneak a peek all I see is another curve and the never ending double yellow "do not pass" line.

This morning our pastor was talking about unanswered prayer. He said that there are two main reasons why we think our prayers go un-answered.

Number one is that God seems to put off an immediate answer because He has something better for us if we will just have faith and endure the hardship or other situation we are praying about until His plan provides us something better. I thought of being behind the semi truck. In this case, the truck I can't pass is God making me slow down and not get so impatient to be at my destination; His answer to my prayer.

The Number two reason we feel our prayers are going un-answered is because I am praying for what I want, not what He wants. My own agenda and my own thinking gets in my way. In this case, the huge truck is me blocking my own self from my destination. Talk about confusing. I am both the car and the truck. I am following myself and getting mad because I won't get out of my own way.

The absolute, most confusing situation is to pray for God's will to be done, while at the same time believing that I am earnestly praying in faith that He will answer my heartfelt prayer. In this case I don't know if the truck is me or God. All I know is that I am stuck behind it and getting more and more mad and frustrated.

There is an old cliché, "lead, follow or get out of my way". All too often when I behind the truck on the curvy road I take a gamble and pass the truck when I think I have enough room to get around it, but don't really know if a car is coming the other way. I don't care, I just want the truck out of my way. As soon as I stomp on the gas and make a commitment to pass, I have really ignored God if He is in the truck. Ironically I usually say a small prayer that nothing is coming my way in the other lane. If it is me in the truck, I am playing chicken with myself and trying to get out of my own way.

If I can manage to cool my temper and impatience and just back off the accelerator I usually discover that there is nice looking scenery along the road that I hadn't paid any attention to in my fury to pass that truck at any cost. Sometimes I even see a country store or other roadside attraction that I will stop at to take pictures or buy a cold soda, usually the small 6 oz. coke in a bottle that only small country stores sell along with some hoop cheese and a pickled pigs foot (just kidding about the pigs foot. I always see them at the counter next to the pickled eggs and boiled P-nuts. I may be in the country , but I am not a country boy).

By the time I have pondered whether to actually try a pickled pig's foot or egg and decided to just go with the coke and hoop cheese, I forget about the truck and realize that there are plenty nice things to see and do along my road to my destination and check in time is 3:00 anyway so why am I in such a hurry?.

I also usually find out that when I do get to my destination I am less stressed and can enjoy it more and faster ( a paradox, eh?). A few times I have gotten to my destination at precisely the right time for a serendipity moment. A moment that is fortuitous and could not have happened at any other time or place. Then I always send up a little prayer of thanks to God with a smirk on my face and see His face smirking back at me a wink and a nod.

Dear God, Please don't get out of my way, but always get me out of my own way.

A Robservation