Monday, February 23, 2009

Riding Shotgun

I'm not sure why I do it, but I've been doing it for 25 years. Driving on the right EDGE of the road. Sometimes I'll think that I've conquered it, and then a white faced pedestrian will fling themselves into a patch of roadside thorns, and I'll realize that I'm still doing it. My kids have gotten used to it. My husband has stopped trying to stop it. And only one thing ever really forced me to control my urge to hug the right … that was when I was driving up a mountain in New Hampshire to meet Jeff (he had HIKED to the top) and a friend. I was so terrified of the drop-off on the sheer right hand slope that I was hugging the left lane, instead. Around my own town, it's just such a normal part of my everyday routine that I've gotten used to an up close view of road signs and light poles. I'm often the only adult in the car, so I don't nag myself about it anymore.

A couple of weeks ago my parents came to visit, and they each took a turn in my right hand passenger side seat. I think it was a thrill ride for them. For people with heart problems, though, they took it pretty well. My mom actually burst out laughing, noting that I had not really changed much in all these years; I'm still a right side hugger. I told her about the leaping pedestrian. I think she's sorry she took me to drivers' ed back in high school and let me get a license. As a result of their visit, I became very aware of my continued weakness. In fact, by the time they left, I had vowed to let Jeff teach the kids to drive and to maybe have him do a little "driving discipleship" with me. You know, sometimes we get used to our weaknesses and failures. We get really comfortable with them and accept them; at least I do. It takes someone to ride with us, to be there when we do our usual things, and then to speak up and let us know we are "too close to the edge" in some area. Sometimes the people who are with us everyday get used to our shortcomings and accept them, and we don't mind that. That's when a friend, family member, small group member, or other church family member can be invaluable.

People who "ride shotgun" in life with us are helpful to offer their perspectives, their view from where they sit beside us. My mom also shared (with a little less panic in her voice, mind you) about another area in my life where I'm riding too close to the edge. I've been there so long that I stopped noticing. I just got comfortable where I was. I need to get back in the center of the lane.

A few weeks before my folks came to visit, I noticed a mangled car on the slope where the panicked pedestrian dodged my car. The wreck had gone off the edge. I wonder if that driver had gotten used to my bad habit, too, and if they finally went over. You know, that happens when we ignore bad habits.

So, for all those pedestrians out there reading my blog, both of you, and for my mom and all those others who ride through life with me, thanks for being patient with me while I "mind the edges."

Who's riding shotgun with you?

4 COMMENTS ~ Click here to leave a COMMENT:

Kristi said...

Julie - this made me laugh because I do the same thing!! LOL... I really concentrate on staying in the middle sometimes, but I love that right shoulder. :)

Patty Fortner said...

How blessed we are to have those who love us enough to ride shotgun. Thanks Julie, you are such an encouragement. : )

Tara Walker said...

This is such a great reminder to mind the edges! And honestly, I think that some of my shotgun riders should just flat out grab the wheel! :-)

Love you friend!

LuvtheWord said...

I'm gonna remember that Tara Walker. :) Mind your edges today.