12/31/2018 0 Comments
No Parking In The Breakdown Lane
This is one of my favorite roadside signs in that it asks us to be gracious to those who are breaking down. Those drivers who find themselves in the breakdown lane because, well, their car is breaking down. Now when I apply this as a metaphor for my life, I can’t help but wonder how many times I have driven for very long periods of time in the breakdown lane. How often have I kept my life on cruise control moving along at an acceptable speed, just slightly over the limit so as not to attract any attention from would be law enforcement? Did I even know that I was in the breakdown lane and how was it affecting everyone around me?
We are told that we are the drivers of our own destiny and yet when our lives are moving along we feel compelled to hand over the wheel whenever fear or uncertainty move into our lives. Yes I am going to extend this metaphor for as long as possible. How often do we just park wherever we are and remain idle? I remember a friend telling me that she had become so disillusioned with her life that she sat at a stop sign in a remote part of a rural town waiting for the stop sign to turn green. She admitted to having sat there for at least ten minutes lost in thoughts of pain and grief over her current relationship.
“Ten minutes of my life had gone by and I didn’t even notice. I was idling at a stop sign not even noticing that I was there in that space, at that time.”
She was the perfect example of how it happens. One minute things are going on just the way they are supposed to go on and the next minute we are stuck at a stop sign hoping against hope that it has the capacity to turn green and relieve of us of our insignificance.
The breakdown lane on any highway is generally narrower than the other lanes, that is of course if there is a breakdown lane to begin with. Not every highway has one and certainly most lives do not make room for them. So what happens then?
Most of us stay in the slow lane letting everyone pass us and hoping that nobody will flip us off for not moving fast enough or achieving enough. In our world of achievement and goal oriented responsibilities we are often too over taxed to realize that we need a break until it’s too late. How is this ok? What have we become as a society that we realize the need for a breakdown lane so that our four wheeled metal contraptions can take a break. What about when our several organ, thousand veined bodies needs some nourishment, some love, some rest. We don’t allow for those repairs to happen. Yes we have spas and various forms of healing arts including psycho therapy, but what about if the vehicle that house our true self just needs to have its oil changed? Not a complete overhaul, engine is still good, the tires aren’t bald and the shocks are still absorbing. How many of us take the time out to just regroup? Maybe the sign should say, “no driving in the breakdown lane.”
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