Several years ago, I was on my way to direct a wedding for some friends. I had all my gear in hand: extra bobby pins, safety pins, tape, gum and anything you might think a bride could suddenly need on her big day. I even left my house early, because truth be told if I’m not five minutes early, I feel “late”.
My drive should have felt relaxing. I was in my car alone (enough said). It was a sunny Saturday morning and there was no traffic to be found. But as I passed cows and chickens casually feeding in the grass, I realized something. I was hurried, very hurried. I was barely noticing anything around me as I pressed the gas petal with fury. I had missed the blooming flowers and the delicate way the sun peaked through the clouds.
I was completely distracted as I raced through the events of the day in my mind. I was rehearsing the moment the bridal party entered the church and how the doors would fling open for the Bride’s big entrance. I was thinking about getting to the church and not enjoying the fact that I didn’t actually have to hurry at all. In that moment, I felt a soft reminder from the Lord: “Enjoy the drive”.
“Enjoy the drive?” I thought. I’m not sure that I ever do that. My life almost always feels hurried. But that moment helped me to remember something. Life goes by so fast and if we don’t take hold of these moments and enjoy them, it will all just be a big blur of events that we attended. We won’t embrace how we felt or the goodness that these moments bring to our life.
I’m so often focused on the end destination, but in life, there are just so many more moments that we simply “drive”.
I’ve been reminded to “enjoy the drive” numerous times in the past few years of motherhood. I look back at pictures and realize how very quickly a two year old becomes an eight year old. It’s like we blinked and there she stands, a big girl, who doesn’t mispronounce her words and whose chubby fingers have disappeared. My tiniest baby was the subject of my photography as she cooed and smiled at me, but she has quickly turned into a two year old, who has no time to sit still. I’d describe her present photographs to be more “abstract art” than anything. How quickly the time has flown!
I started a beginner’s reading textbook with my four year old the other day and smiled to myself, because this is the third time I’ve started this book. As she put her chubby finger on the letters to sound them out, I reminisced about how the first time through this book felt like a nightmare and I just wanted her to “get done”. The second time through was much better and this time, I’m “enjoying the drive”. I don’t feel pressured to have her reading before other children, but rather for her to enjoy this moment of accomplishment, because it opens a whole new world for her!
If you’re cuddling a new baby today: Enjoy the drive and don’t try to do everything you’ve always done. Eventually, the fatigue will lessen and these sleepless nights will be gone. Soon, that tiny baby will be running around while you chase after her. Please keep cuddling. You don’t want to miss this!
If you’re running after a busy toddler today: Enjoy the drive. They will soon be in school and you’ll miss the simple days where all you had to worry about was each other. Take a walk together. Talk about the trees and the sky. The day feels long right now, but embrace the simplicity of your days.
If you’re potty training today: Take a deep breath and enjoy the drive. It’s hard, but your child will eventually get it. Give yourself some grace as you clean the floor (again) and don’t completely love it. No one does. You’re just being “normal”.
If you’re schooling children today: Enjoy the drive. You’re laying the foundation for their future and building a relationship of trust and respect that will follow you and your children throughout the rest of your lives. Sure, every moment isn’t great, but your stability and engagement is necessary for their growth.
If you’re the chauffeur to your children’s many events today: Enjoy the drive. Sing at the top of your lungs and laugh with them on the way. One day, your car will be empty, but you’ll always have your memories.
If you’re sending off your children today: Enjoy the drive. You knew deep in your heart that this day would come, but it doesn’t make it any easier. Now, you have to trust the Lord to protect and keep your precious child, knowing that He will continue to do a great work in them and in you.
Be present. Be available. Notice the flowers around you. Enjoy the drive!