I pulled up to the stop light. Maybe this isn't a good idea. But the alternate route wasn't feasible. It would have added over an hour to travel time. That wasn't going to work. I needed to make it to my destination on time. I didn't want to miss out
The light turned green. I pulled onto the ramp of the Corridor. Not a place for nervous drivers. This freeway was notorious for high-speed driving--and frequent accidents. I sucked in a deep breath, and punched my foot onto the accelerator. I'd need to gain speed quickly to merge my Jeep into the left lane.
As I clicked on my turn signal, a Lincoln Continental raced up, blocking me. I had to slam on my brakes. Good thing no one was tailing behind me. Running out of real estate on the ramp, I'd had to move quickly, and managed to slip between two vehicles in the left lane. An ornery driver in back of me blared his horn incessantly. I didn't know what happened to courtesy, but I wasn't finding it here.
Adding to my my frayed nerves, a Semi barreled past, the boom of it's trailer startling me, as my Jeep waivered. The muscles in my shoulders felt like concrete as I straightened the wheel. Sigh of relief . Back on track. It seemed like everyone was in a rush on this freeway. If there was an unspoken rule for some of these drivers, it was, "Get out of my way--this road is mine."
Before leaving home, I'd said a prayer. Keep me safe, Lord! I certainly needed that now. I had to maintain at a speed faster than I liked, to keep up with traffic. To calm myself, I decided to focus on the scenery. To my right, I noticed stately Saguaros, blooming Ocotillo, purple/green Prickly Pear, and streaks of blue-orange sky decorating the horizon.
That helped a little, until reaching the yellow caution signs. Construction ahead. Merge left. I blew out a breath. Here we go again.
A highway worker held up a red warning flag; vehicles were forced to reduce speed. Thank goodness. The road climbed, and as I rounded a bend, rays of sunlight shot out onto the Peaks in the distance. Like a watercolor painting, overlapping hues of red, orange, and purple reached across the face of the mountain, and dispersed into beams that stretched across the desert floor.
As I tried to soak in the majesty of the painted mountain, words came to my heart. "This is mine." But they weren't my words. My heart sang out, Yes, Lord! I could barely take my eyes off the splendor. But that wasn't all. There was more..."You are mine."
A sense of calm washed over me. An answer to prayer... My grip on the steering wheel loosened, and the tightness in my neck and shoulders began to melt. I felt the corners of my lips turn up into a smile.
I spotted my turnoff, and arrived at my destination, but did a double-take. Correct street, correct address, empty parking lot. I checked the flyer. Right day. Right place. Right time. I got got out of the Jeep and walked to the front entrance. I peered through the glass-pane entry and windows. Dark inside. Doors locked. No one in sight. I checked with neighboring business, but no one had information. The concert was obviously cancelled or postponed. To say I was disappointed was an understatement.
I tried to abate the feelings of angst building up inside. I came all the way out here--in traffic--for this? It was no one's fault, maybe my own, if I'd missed an email or phone call. Disheartened, I returned to my Jeep and headed to the freeway. It was dark now, and the glow of headlights streamed in both directions like an endless train. Why did tonight have to turn out like this, when I'd prayed about it?
I thought of a reason as I drove home in the congestion. I felt a little tense, but not like earlier. As I considered why the night turned out the way it did, I wondered if maybe I needed to be a little more trusting in God. Did I need the reminder that all creation belonged to Him, including me, and that He watches over me? Maybe so.
I arrived home tired, but safe. It had been a long two and a half hours. My destination had not been what I thought. The concert had been cancelled, but, thankfully, my faith hadn't been. The truth was, I think I needed a lesson in trusting God, and remembering that He was in charge of all creation, including me.
If you feel like you're driving in the fast lane of life, surrounded by the wants of the world, be assured, as I was, that God is bigger than all of these things. I needed the reminder, and perhaps you do, too, of the words God wants us to hear from Him:
"You are mine."
Mine, mine, mine.
"But now, this is what the LORD says--he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: "Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine." - Isaiah 43:1