The first was a matter of ‘Outta my way slow pokes, Emma’s on the move!’ In this mindset, everything, kerbs/hedges/bollards seemed MILES away. I reversed, confidently – only to find that those fixed points had Moved. And no matter how hard I revved, they couldn’t always be driven through.
It took a while before dad and I ventured out again. But by now I’d decided on a very different tactic: ‘8 mph, white knuckles on the steering wheel, everyone else is a speeding lunatic and we’re all gonna die’. In this mindset everything seemed Near and THREATENING. I’d only drive when the roads were deserted and I refused to park unless there were three clear spaces in each direction.
I thought I’d never be able to drive. Mum did too. But dad showed me how. When the car stalled at the lights and other drivers were cursing me, he calmed me down. When I veered towards the pavement, he steered us to safety. Gradually, I learned – because he was with me in the car and he had the wheel.
These days it’s life and not motoring that causes the drama. Sickness, relationships, disappointment, failure, longings and loss – a series of challenges I feel that I’m failing. At these moments it’s tempting to default to old tactics too: A for Accelerate: 90 miles an hour, trampling feelings and boundaries in pursuit of my own goals. Or B for Reverse: Withdraw from relationships and risk. Hide away in routines. Refuse to engage.
Sometimes I’m tempted to power ahead in my own strength – or to jack it in and give up. But when I do, I remember my heavenly dad and I stay put. He’s still with me in the car and He’s still got the wheel. In Him I’ve passed every test – and He’ll get me safely to my destination.