Turtles in the Fast Lane

The rain tapped a steady rhythm on the car windows as a friend and I talked. The dreariness of the day matched our mood.
As Joann and I discussed what Dr. James Dobson refers to as “fatigue and time pressure,” we realized how much we had in common. Each of us had been born and reared in small towns where the pace was slow and where people had time for one another. Each of us had had close friends and time to cultivate and enjoy those friendships. Although we had lived in the metro Atlanta area for more than a decade, we still found ourselves longing for the slower pace and the relationships we’d thrived on as children and teenagers.
That’s what we wanted, but not what we had! Our lives were filled with stress as we juggled family responsibilities, job demands, church and community activities, etc. We lamented the fact that our busy schedules allowed little time for relaxation or for being with those dearest to us. We talked on and on, oblivious to the downpour of rain. Suddenly, Joann started to giggle. “Johnnie, we’re just two old turtles being forced to live in the fast lane!”

We exploded with laughter at her “homey” illustration; and, while I didn’t feel particularly flattered at being compared to a turtle, the truth of her words began to dawn on me. God did not equip turtles to travel safely on interstate highways. Neither did He design people to live in the fast lane. Quite the contrary!

“The Sovereign LORD…says, ‘Only in returning to me and waiting for me will you be saved. In quietness and confidence is your strength’” (Isaiah 30:15, New Living Translation). Yet, if we stubbornly insist on living in the fast lane, we—not God—will be responsible for the carnage on the highways of life.
Excerpted from Reflections by Johnnie Ann Burgess Gaskill, ©2002. The author may be contacted via her website: http://eThomaston.net/johnnie


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