Lessons Learned from Driving a Scooter
I confess to driving a Vespa around town. I confess it's goofy (well chosen word) and I confess I like it. This afternoon, after meeting a good friend for lunch down by the UT campus, as I drove/scooted/rolled home, I was thinking what I have learned to appreciate about driving a scooter around town: 1) Slower, more careful driving. No more aggressive drives, rushing through traffic. I have to plan out my path, put my smartphone in my pocket or in the storage compartment under the seat. I'm alert, more aware and beginning to enjoy watching other less-alert drivers. I've got more time to think, observe and process meetings I just left or am headed towards. No radio, no speaker phone. Also, I'm a lot less likely to "swap paint" (since the paint is my skin).
2) Life's better on the backstreets of Austin. I rarely get caught in traffic. I've begun to enjoy the neighborhoods I drive through. I see houses, landscaping, whole neighborhoods that I've never noticed in 30+ years of living in Austin. I'm less stressed out when I arrive. I have to schedule my time better and plan for my travel time to take an extra 3-5 minutes, but it usually only takes a few more minutes (no comments here Celia).
3) Enjoying the ride. People smile (sure they're laughing on the inside at the goofy 47 year-old man on a light blue scooter), but they actually smile at me at traffic lights. Folks walking through their neighborhoods wave. It's more fun, parking spots are easy to find and often free. The commute is a little more fun and I don't mind the one-item run to the grocery store nearly as much. I'm actually enjoying the ride.
Thinking about this on my ride home reminded me of something I recently read:
"He can't be used as a road. If you're approaching Him not as the goal, but as a road, not as the end but as a means, you're not really approaching Him at all." - C. S. Lewis, A Grief Observed
So how do I relate riding a scooter to seeking God? I think it's about the ride. The opportunity to move a little slower, to appreciate the pace of the back streets, to smile and wave at strangers has helped me realize the best part of knowing God, is the knowing Him. It's the relationship. The mental free time has reminded me to enjoy my relationship with the Creator. It is about seeking Him, not for any other reason than just seeking Him. When we are resolute on finding Him, He takes care of all the details. He promised.
"So don't worry about these things, saying, 'What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?' These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need." (Matthew 6:31-33 NLT)