Monday, August 20, 2007

Driving Me

Tire in Drive

If you happen to see a driver taking extra wide turns and avoiding parallel parking, it might be me. Ever since I received the "you're stuck in all-wheel drive" diagnosis, I've been engaging in avoidance driving. Sharp turns make the car shudder. Parallel parking is the worst of the worst, as my wheels almost skid me into a space. My wheels are working against each other, which could cause permanent axel damage. So I'm trying to live turn-free.

Of course, all astute readers are thinking, "GET THE CAR FIXED! YOU CAN'T DRIVE IN A STRAIGHT LINE FOREVER!" Right. True! So I plan to go to that scary T place (the transmission guy), but life's requirements are precluding that option for at least a few more weeks. In the meantime, I'm living in a state of anxious control.

It struck me, as I was trying to let inertia move me into my driveway, backwards, uphill, that this is somewhat a parable of my life. There are ways that my childhood experiences have gotten me stuck in all-wheel-drive. I often live in a state of anxious control.

Indeed, I'm feeling the deep cost of trying to live turn-free.

There is no transmission place to cruise into, to fix this chronic problem. But I am using my time in the Secret Place to place myself before God. Mostly right now I'm finding a well of emotion and sorrow when I show up there. But it feels like the beginning of discovery. Diagnosing what's driving me.

Tire in Drive photo, by L.L. Barkat.

Seedlings Invitation: If you write a post related to this post and Link It Back Here, let me know and I'll link to yours.

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Blogger Real Live Preacher said...

So familiar. I have a tendency to live with car problems and get used to them. I think I went a year without being able to open the driver side door on a car I once had.

3:46 PM  
Blogger Ted M. Gossard said...

L.L., I'll be praying, sister. We need times like that, especially with some of the hurt or difficulty some of us have gone through.

I agree with RLP. Right now I can't open my driver's side door on my old car, and that's been true for months.

Be careful, sister, and more good times in blessing in the secret place.

8:21 PM  
Blogger Ted M. Gossard said...

...also, I like the thought- what's driving me. Good for me to think on that one as well.

8:22 PM  
Blogger Christine A. Scheller said...


Yesterday I drove over a curb and got a flat tire. I was in a skirt and heels. Didn't even think of changing it myself, but got out my handy AAA card, and let someone do it for me.

He showed up in 10 minutes and did it with a smile in the heat.

Wouldn't it be nice if life was like that. Ding-a-ling-a-ling, and instant solutions with a smile.

No character formation in that; no Christlikeness emerging after a season of struggle.

Blessings to you as you wrestle in your secret space.

9:33 AM  
Blogger christianne said...

I, too, love the tender sentiments expressed here in vulnerability. I can personally feel myself go into that all-wheel-drive place of anxious control (great way of putting it!) . . . my shoulders get tight, the nodes at the base of my head get tight, and I walk around with my shoulders hunched up to my ears. It takes some time to talk one's self down from that place . . . and sometimes it just takes jumping with a flying leap off the cliff of trust.

10:27 AM  
Blogger Craver Vii said...

I feel your pain.

Wait... you have a car??

12:57 PM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

RLP... isn't that human nature, in a way? To get used to problems, and live with them as if they don't matter? Though, at times, we go after even the smallest problem with a vengeance. I wonder what leads to one response or the other.

Ted... thank you. We all need each other's prayers to make these journeys into greater truth, yes? I find it interesting also to try to consider what drives me. I know what I'd like that to be (The Jesus Creed!), but life doesn't always cooperate. And, hey, you and RLP should carpool!

Christine... oh. That's no fun. Though I like the simple phone call. Yes, healing takes time. It's like that labyrinth I talked about once. First we have to realize we've lost our way into a dark, faraway room. Then we've got to find a candle. Then we have to start our ascent.

Christianne... and I only wish I could see it this way when I'm in it. It's usually the aftermath that tells me. Still, I think that there comes a time of recognition, and this is a good beginning.

Craver... ah, good, a shoulder to share the burden! (A car? Yeah, it's hard to bike here. Especially with two kids in tow. But you made me laugh!)

1:41 PM  
Blogger Every Square Inch said...


I love how you turn to the Secret Place before God whenever you encounter difficulties, mechanical or otherwise.

That's the heart of someone who loves God...that's also faith.

Thanks for the example and I hope the transmission guy went easy on you.

1:50 PM  
Blogger Miriam said...

L.L, this post, like so many others of yours, spoke right to my heart. Thank you for sharing such pearls from your journey. Always so insightful, and helpful.

Blessings as you press further into God and His perfect healing.

Miriam (who always reads, but seldom finds adequate words to comment here. :))

9:19 PM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

Every Square... I suppose people have their different places and ways. For me, having a specific place and time each day, out in God's creation, has been a helpful reminder that He waits for me to turn to Him. Tonight, I was reading Don Everts' book God in the Flesh... this part about collapsing on Jesus rather than pretending all is Just Fine. And I was reminded yet again that God just waits for us with all His mercies, to come out into a quiet place, to lean and to learn.

Miriam... it is so comforting to think of your constant presence, even if it's often a silent one. And I think you always come with good words. Because you are honest, and that's all it takes to be adequate here.

9:56 PM  
Blogger Christine A. Scheller said...

Ah yes, the realization we are in the dark when we had thought we had found the light. Candles emit such a warm glow, too.

I was at my sacred space today ... Mustard Seed Ranch, walking the grounds, visiting the horses, seeing the colts getting bigger by the week.

And one of the men, leaving for Bible college in New York tomorrow after a season of homelessness, then rest and recovery. He is not afraid. A sweet soul. He can use prayer. His name is Richard.


10:06 PM  
Blogger kirsten said...

I see the past month of my life in two painful words here: "anxious control". And this certainly isn't the first time; I imagine it won't be the last.

How sweet it is in the moments when we can let go, when we can (as you say in a comment) collapse on Jesus.

Thank you!

11:52 PM  
Blogger Lynet said...

Lovely metaphor, LL. I know what you mean about being aware that something is wrong, but not being able to find (so to speak) the end of the thread that will let you start untangling bits.

One of the things I find difficult about being a (secular) humanist is the deep responsibility involved. We don't really have any equivalent of the 'let God take care of it' way of looking at things. It's a pity, because sometimes stepping back is what we need to do. Perhaps someday I'll find a metaphor that helps me let go. For now, though, I have a terrible (but sometimes useful) tendency to want to control myself all the time. It's good for some things (self control), but bad for others (sleeping, having fun, satisfying needs you weren't consciously aware you had).

5:56 AM  
Blogger angela said...

We seem to live with car problems but I haven't gotten use to the strange creeks the car makes.

1:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I once had transmission problems that kept me from backing up. I was always make sure that I had a way to make a quick exit that didn't involve shifting into reverse. I see this particular transmission diagnosis in my own life at times: trying so hard to have contingencies for everything (insuring my insurance policies), rather than trusting the Lord in the tight spaces, knowing he will provide a way out.

9:07 PM  

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