I thought I’d learned to trust God, that I was over worrying, that I had reached some peak in my spiritual walk. Then last Friday happened.
All I had to do was drive a moving truck 269 miles and get it to our new home by 5:00 p.m. But then things went terribly wrong, due to a bad call by the moving company. We didn’t have a big enough truck to haul all of our things, and we ended up having to hitch a 12-foot trailer onto the back.
What should have been a three-hour packing job took eight hours and required us to force feed our valuables into the truck and trailer. In the end, I left a few hundred dollars’ worth of our belongings behind and pulled out of the driveway at 5:30 p.m., right at the peak of rush-hour traffic.
I uttered a prayer and began my faithless journey down the highway.
I hate to sound like a pansy, but I was terrified of the 12-foot trailer bobbing and rocking behind the 16-foot truck I was driving. Every bump felt like a crater, every passing 18-wheeler felt like a commercial jet – and that Geo Prism that cut me off when I needed to change lanes was like an egg-shaped demon sent to kill me.
“Oh Lord-Jesus-God-help-me-oh-my-goodness-God-please-help-me,” I prayed, gritting my teeth.
As the highway narrowed, leaving only two lanes, the stress increased. With each bump, I felt like the trailer was going to rip off the back, vomit our valuables onto the highway, and cause a fatal accident which would claim the lives of several people, including me.
“God, I hate this,” I prayed. “Lord, I’m not kidding. I hate this so much. Lord, I just want to be there already. God, this is horrible. And I know I’m praying to You like I’m being shot at by a sniper or something, but I’ve never driven anything like this before, and I hate it. Please, just let this be over,” I whined to Him as the cab slowly rocked from right to left.
On and on this went, with me praying harder than I had prayed since my nephew almost died back in 2003. And even after I calmed down, I still gripped the steering wheel like squeezing it tightly was keeping me alive.
In the midst of all this insanity, the Lord didn’t speak audibly, but I think He spoke through heavenly common sense, saying something like, “I know you’re terrified, son. This is nothing new – you’re panicking just like you did when you tried to sell your house, when you were looking for a new place to live, when you thought you’d never get married, and on and on.
“And I’ve been with you every time. So you can either choose to trust Me and ride this thing out in faith, or you can freak out – either way, I’m going to be with you.”
I hate to say it, but I chose to freak out. I was like Peter who was walking on the water towards Jesus, but when he focused on the wind and the waves, he panicked and started drowning. When he focused on the unstable water and wind, he became unstable; and when I focused on the rickety and unwieldy moving truck, I became spiritually unwieldy.
I may have flunked my highway faith test, but at least I learned something from it (I think I did, but that’s what I said last time this happened). Perhaps next time my faith is tested by circumstances I can’t control, I will focus on Jesus and metaphorically walk on water – or at least have enough faith to believe He can get me down my next highway.