Sometimes you're cruising down the highway of life, sunroof open, shades on, the sun is shining in and warming your skin. Your favorite tunes are playing on the radio. Better yet, it’s a classic rock station and you reminisce as you belt out a Pat Benatar ballad. You don’t really seem to have a care in the world. It’s just you, the open highway and blue skies.
And then up ahead you see taillights in both lanes. Your jam session with Pat ends and your session with traffic jam begins. As you tap your break preparing to slow down, you can see around the curve…taillights for miles and miles. And just like that, the thrill of the ride is over. You’re no longer giddy and carefree. You’re no longer singing along to the happy tune and the sun streaming through the sunroof is no longer warm and cheerful but has created a sauna type feeling in your stuffy confines.
You inch along and at times completely sit still baffled at what has just taken place, startled by the sudden halt, worried, perturbed and a whole gamut of negativities. You lean on the car door, head resting on your clenched fist, your face becomes distorted with discouragement.
You begin to wonder if you’ll ever be cruising free-spirited again or if you’ll be stuck in this holding pattern forever. You ponder alternate routes and grow impatient. You can see the cars in the opposite lanes zipping along and you feel jealous, wishing you were headed in the other direction.
You’ve sat for awhile and that’s when you notice you’re low on gas. And all you can do now is pray. Pray that God will sustain your tank until you can fill it again. With each mile you inch forward there is a sense of relief that you might be on the move again, only to be taken back a notch when you notice that the gas gauge marker is getting closer to the “E”.
After what seems to be hours, things begin to clear, you move a little more forward, a little faster each time, and you mutter something like “It’s about time” as you grip the wheel in anticipation of picking up speed.
And just as you make your way through the bottle necked traffic with the help of an officer who is directing the way, you glance over to see the cause of the delay – a mangled heap of metal that was once a car being lifted onto a tow truck. A sickening lump forms in your throat and you’re suddenly filled with shame about your previous anger and impatience. Your perspective shifts and you realize that your situation could have been worse. You are thankful that it was just time you lost on this day.
Now you’re driving the speed limit again. You ease up the volume just a bit, but you drive reflectively for the remaining few miles.
And this is what it feels like to raise a teenager!