Spinning Wheels and Slinging Mud

Recently, I watched a group of teenage boys attempt to push a pickup truck out of a boggy ditch along the side of the highway. A car was pulled off on the other side of the road and a distance behind. Two young girls hung out of the car’s windows, cell phones pointed in the direction of the truck, no doubt snapping pictures to share on the web. As I passed, I watched the truck’s wheels spin and no amount of youthful testosterone would push it free, at least not as I drove by.

I had to smile as I realized I was witnessing yet another metaphor for my life. Like that truck, I may think my all-terrain wheels can take me anywhere and I can maneuver through any landscape. I’m learning that barreling through soft spots isn’t always the wisest plan, however. There are times I need to put the vehicle in park and idle for a bit until conditions change.

Usually, though, I don’t realize I’m in the mud until I’m stuck and can’t get out on my own. Even then my reinforcements aren’t always able to help. As I spin my wheels, attracting an audience in my single-minded attempts to get free, at some point I must simply stop, rest, and cool my engine.

Finally, when I’m THIS close to throwing myself out of the cab, and stalk away in frustration, the tires catch on to something solid—thanks to a mighty effort behind me—and I’m out. Unstuck and once again flying down the highway.

A little more aware, a whole lot more grateful and relieved to once more be headed in the right direction.

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