It was December of 1987 when I received my keys to so-called freedom by turning 16-years-old, and getting my driver’s license. I drove through the quiet streets of my neighborhood before coming up to a stop sign. I stared at the traffic going back and forth in front of me. I remember staying there for quite some time in fear of pulling out onto the busy street. My mind was racing with thoughts like, “What if I hit a car?”, “What if a car hits me?”, and “I can’t do this. I’m too scared.”
I got up the courage, checked for traffic, and then hit the gas pedal. I made it safely into the center turn lane and let out a big sigh of relief. There I was, a new driver, sitting in the center lane on one of the busiest streets in my town. I knew I had to make a decision. I put my blinker on and waited….and waited….and…..
In that moment, panic came over me. I was stuck in the middle lane. I was scared to pull out into traffic to join in the line of cars, but I knew I could not go back the way I came. The only way out of this situation was to either take my keys out of the ignition, and walk away, or take a deep breath, hit the gas pedal, and go.
Both options had good things about them. Taking the keys out and walking away would have been a little easier on my nerves. After all, I only lived a few blocks away, and could have walked home so that my parents could go back with me to get the car. I would have not had to face this big challenge either. The other option of hitting the gas pedal and pulling into what I perceived as a dangerous, yet exciting adventure appealed to me, if only I could build up the courage to do so.
After sitting in the center turn lane for what felt like a very long time, I sat straight up, grasped the steering wheel, checked for traffic, looked to the side, and hit the gas pedal. I made it into the lane of traffic just fine. Excitement came over me once I knew I had successfully overcome the fear. I spent the rest of the night driving around and listening to music. My new adventure of freedom as a teenager had just begun.
I have thought of this experience many times throughout the years. Often, I have felt stuck in the middle of a difficult decision without knowing which way to go. On one hand, turning back and continuing with the same direction feels comforting. On the other hand, taking a leap of faith and beginning a new journey is quite exciting, and could lead to multiple open doors and a growing sense of His presence.
Are you stuck in the middle of some life decisions right now? What would you accomplish if you were fearless?
Sometimes in life, you just need to get the courage up, hit the gas pedal, and go! Regardless of what you decide to do, make sure to listen to the Lord’s leading. He will not lead you into on-coming traffic that is harmful. It may feel uncomfortable at times, but the same God who formed you in your mother’s womb is the same One who will see you safely to the other side of the road.
Blessings to you on new adventures in life!