My wife and I drove up to a wedding in Los Angeles this past weekend. The Sunday wedding was a perfect excuse for us to make the drive up one day early and get a good Saturday bike ride in through the Malibu Mountains. It’s sad we need an excuse like a wedding to get away for a weekend, but that’s life as a 30-something couple.
We woke up early and I blazed an 75mph trail to the place we would stage from. The 2.5 hour drive went smoothly with no typical LA traffic to deal with. We pulled the truck off of Mulholland Drive and got ready for the day’s ride. It was a great 60 mile ride in through the hills around Malibu. There were plenty of steep climbs and long sweeping descents. We even managed to avoid the motorcyclists that came ripping by us at 80 mph. It was a perfect day.
The wedding the next morning was beautiful as well. My friend showed off some killer dance moves for the first dance. It sure beat the heck out of my shuffle-sway signature slow dance that I am known for. The weather was great, and the setting was amazing. He could not have had a more perfect day for a wedding.
After Sunday’s festivities, we began our trek back to San Diego. I drove along for about an hour before we hit the signature LA traffic. There were brake lights as far as we could see heading south. Sitting at a dead stop, I looked at the northbound traffic blazing by at 80 mph. The cars ripped by faster than bullets out of a gun. Even more amazing was the small distance between cars. 4-5 feet separated one car from another, and little white dashes on the road somehow made people feel safe? I looked back at my stopped lane. The only difference in my lane was the speed in which we were travelling. We were all packed tight, but I was able to see all the small details in the landscape that go unnoticed at high speed. The tile on the buildings, the scrapes on the barrier wall, and the trash collected in the gutters.
Traffic finally got back up to speed several miles later, and we were back on track to reach home within the next decade. Now, I could not help but notice how close all of us were on the highway travelling at 75 -80mph. We were just as close as the cars I had just seen going the other direction. It didn’t feel fast though as I looked at the car beside me. We were lock step, and we may as well have been stopped beside each other in the parking lot.
Is this what our lives have become? Is slowing down really just driving 65 instead of 80? Do we press down on the gas pedal and try to catch the car in front of us just long enough to realize they are taking the next exit? Are we all trying to race each other just to get to different places? I wonder if God looks at us down here, and is just asking us to pull the car over to the side of the road. While it may look like we are standing still, we are actually driving too fast to get the point.
Decompressing from a great weekend, I feel challenged to take another step back and ask God if he wants me to slow it down a little. What does he want me to see in this hurried place we live in? Perhaps the two of us just need a weekend away from it all.
Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act. Don’t worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes. Stop being angry! Turn from your rage! Do not lose your temper—it only leads to harm. For the wicked will be destroyed, but those who trust in the Lord will possess the land.