You say goodbye to a former neighbor, having enjoyed dinner together, and dash to your truck. Rainfall has shifted from drizzle to downpour. You switch from 2- to 4-wheel-drive.
Dusk descends into the darkest of nights. You are driving to another friend’s house about an hour away to spend the night. The route is familiar, but a police car has blocked the road that leads to the highway. The officer directs you onto a road you’ve never travelled. The detour is unmarked, and you get a little lost, turning left, right, right, then left. You turn around and find your way to the highway. You breathe a little easier.
You flow onto the highway and into traffic. Rain pounds and roars. Lane lines become invisible. When it’s time to exit, you ease to the right, guessing where the exit lane might be, then merge with vehicles lined up at the traffic light, those going in the same direction you are.
As you drive north and east, cars peel off, turning onto suburban streets. Surroundings become rural. And darker. Then you are alone. No red taillights in front, no white headlights behind.
Your tires crash into huge puddles of water, which splashes onto your windshield and obscures your view. You wonder if you should pull over and wait out the storm. Or turn back.
Then you see yellow lane lines in the center of the road. You aim your truck toward them, thus avoiding pools of water on either side of the road. You watch for oncoming headlights. There are none. Whenever you lose sight of the yellow lines, red taillights appear in front of you. Yellow lines and red taillights guide you through blind curves and critical turns. You pull into your friend’s driveway and park the truck.
Later that night, you listen to the rain, wind, and thunder and watch lightning flash outside the balcony room where you sleep when visiting your friend. Then you pray, “Thank you, Lord Jesus,” who is with you all the time. Especially when you land in a ditch.
Back at Vanaprastha today, I took this picture of an approaching thunderstorm. Once it passes, I might walk north and east down the mountain road to the mailbox. I know that familiar path could become unfamiliar due to detours, obstacles, or darkness.
That is why I hold fast to my faith.