I have a love-“meh” relationship with driving. When there is little traffic, or when I am able to drive with no particular place to go, it’s wonderful. Commuting is often a different thing altogether. I try to turn that into a game, to find the seams in the traffic and get to and through those at a good clip.
I tend to not do this as much when my wife, Christine, is in the car, although I think she secretly enjoys it. When I get to 90 or so, she sighs and says, “OK, Patrick.” Yes, I slow down. Yes, we laugh, even though I drive her nuts.
When I was a teenager, my mother had a classic Fiat Spider convertible. Because Mom is both generous and likes cars, she let me drive it fairly often. Because I am her son, and share lots of her genes, my assumption is that Mom knew how I drove that car.
One of things that was most thrilling was to see how fast I could go over the posted speed limit on curves. My goal was to get 30-40 miles per hour faster than was “safe.” One memory I have is of going on an on-ramp, where the suggested speed was 35 mph. I went 70. That little car was so low to the ground, and the gears shifted to well that it was fairly easy to keep it right on the edge of crashing.
I used to drag race other vehicles as well. Manual transmissions are great for this, because you get to manipulate to RPMs more so than in an automatic. It’s just great fun.
When my brother went into the service, he handed me the keys to his 1976 Malibu Classic. That car hauled! Since the body was so big and the engine was so powerful, it really didn’t “feel” like you were going 110, 120. Not that I did that…ahem.
In an automatic, when you punch the gas, there is a slight hesitation before the car begins to accelerate. Punch it. Pause. Go!
This has been on my mind the last couple of weeks. This season for me feels a bit like that. The word I keep coming back to again and again is “acceleration.” I am convicted this is true for the team I coach, and the school I run. Likely, it’s true for my faith and my family, and my growth as a man of God.
I have been interested in the pause that happens before the acceleration begins. What the significance of the pause is, what can be found while sitting in that time of quiet anticipation.
A time to either catch your breath or let it out before you go. A time to pray for discernment and wisdom, faith and favor. A time to take a look around at what is really going on, before that acceleration kicks in. A time to make sure obstacles are really out of the way that need to be, and that we’re not missing any signs warning us of danger or destruction.
So, it’s been an interesting place for me to be. It feels holy, at times disquieting, and pregnant with promise. There is a visceral quality to it, that longing of almost and not quite yet. I have a vague picture of what some of the end of this will look like, and look forward to learning the rest along the way.
And, it’s soon. Very, very soon. For me, and by virtue of relationship, those in my life who are on the ride with me, who don’t always mind the wind in their hair and can still have the presence of mind to quietly say, “Patrick” when I need to hear that.
We are made for times such as these. It is time for the pedal to be pushed, for the acceleration to begin.