It was Monday. I was hurrying off the office after a long day of seeing one misbehaving student after another and even dealing with a colleague who was having a bad day. Home is about half an hour away from where I work and I have the option of taking the highway or driving through unpaved country roads that stretch through woodlands and sprawling sugarcane fields. That particular Monday, I didn’t feel like taking the scenic route and so after picking up my three-year-old son from the childcare center where I usually leave him in the morning before coming in for work, I started to make my way to the highway.
I was dying to get home and kick off those shoes and freshen up when my son demanded for a particular street food he saw in the hand of one of the kids at the center. Perfect; just when I was trying to get home. I searched the block for a stall that sold that food but I couldn’t find it and the impatient little boy just wouldn’t accept anything else for an afternoon snack. He was beginning to cry and I was starting to lose my sanity and I knew I had to do something to keep it in order for me to drive home safely. I parked by the roadside, took a deep breath and simply dropped the idea of hurrying home. Then we saw, right outside his window, the stall selling that street food he was so impatiently demanding for.
The tension was gone as he happily ate in his seat and we were both relieved. I’ve learned in the past that when I’m in a hurry to leave for a particular destination and I experience some delays, it’s usually a reminder that I’m going too fast or going the wrong way. With that I decided to turn around and head for the country roads instead. I haven’t gone very far when I noticed something off about one of the tires in front so I stopped near a line of food stalls to check. I was horrified to see that there were only two bolts left holding the tire in place. Somebody came up to me, holding a nut and telling me it came off from my vehicle and that I was lucky I was able to park just in time but that the tire had to be removed and replaced.
I called for back up since I couldn’t change the tire myself (it probably weighed heavier than I am) and while waiting for help to arrive, I played Farmville Country Escape with my son on my smart phone, silently contemplating how blessed we were to have been given some time to check on the tires before speeding through the highway in rush hour traffic.
Sometimes we all are in a hurry to get things done or to get to where we want to be when we want to be, and when things don’t go the way we planned we get totally disappointed for not being in control. We fail to realize that this sickening need for control is what eats away the joy out of the journey. So whenever you feel like things are going out of hand, pause and take a deep breath and allow your guardian angel to take the wheel. You may just be going too fast.
“The most important reason for going from one place to another is to see what’s in between.”
-Norton Juster, The Phantom Toolbooth