Monday, April 1, 2013

“Windshield Moments”

We all have our own perspective about how we perceive our journey through life, but the concept of a “windshield moment” shared by a dear Brother in Christ was particularly profound. His comments have influenced my way of thinking about how I perceive my own journey.  He recalled a time when he was telling his students that in some respects, one’s journey through life is much like driving a car.  Cars have windshields and mirrors to guide the driver as he or she navigates the car.  The windshield has the larger panoramic view, but the mirrors are there for the purpose of maneuvering the car and alerting the driver of other cars or hazards that one would not see with a single view looking forward through the windshield.  The wise driver uses the windshield as the primary view and carefully adjusts the mirrors so that he or she can see as many peripheral and rearview objects as possible.  However, once the car is moving forward the windshield is the place that has the most attention with only brief and momentary glances at the mirrors for perspective.  He went on to challenge his students to consider how driving using only the mirrors with a glance into the windshield would affect their journey.  Such an approach would be very awkward, slow, and much more hazardous leaving the driver and car in a much more perilous situation.  He concluded by saying that our walk with the Lord can be much like his illustration of the car.  We can choose to focus on all the potential hazards on the periphery and regrets of the past or we can look forward searching for the bigger picture of what God has in store for us. 

As I pondered that analogy, I began to reflect on my own journey in life and in faith.  How many times did I let myself get caught up in the peripheral view and a look back at the past only to miss the bigger picture in front of me?  How much do I “drive” through life looking in the rearview mirror rather than through the windshield?  When I am brutally honest with myself, I can recall many of those times when I was overly skeptical, cautious, or afraid to move forward.  It was at those times I surely must have missed much and my life did not move forward very smoothly or gracefully.  I was “driving” in reverse using a rearview mirror of memories and perspective to make my way down the road of life.  Doing such a thing is a very slow, cumbersome, and downright dangerous way of navigating a car or a life.  Instead I needed to be trusting that God had the panoramic situation well under control and I just needed to move forward in trust that He could see what I could not and enjoy the view ahead of me. 

So I pose this question.  How do you navigate through your life?  Which direction are you looking and how much do you trust the One who sees and knows all?  Are you looking through the windshield or are you using those mirrors to try to move forward?  How many “windshield moments” have you missed because you were busy focusing on the smaller view in the mirror of the things behind you?  If you have been “driving in reverse” using those mirrors, it is not too late to change your way of navigating through life.  Mirrors have their place, but the windshield offers the better view.  Does this mean that all we see through the windshield is spectacular as we “drive” through life?  Absolutely not!  Sometimes the view is downright boring or maybe very scary.  However, there are other times when we see something truly beautiful and inspiring.  God will give us plenty of “windshield moments” if we trust him to stay with us on our journey.  Trust him to be there for all of your moments; the scary, the beautiful, the sad, the joyous, the uncertain, and the peaceful – all for your benefit and His glory. 

“Just keep rollin’ down the road!” (Patty Berry Rhodes)  

Blessings and God’s Peace -- Winnie