In my little big city, we have a main road that is a straight shot to almost anywhere you might need to go. From entertainment, career, school, shopping, or home- this road is one that is well traveled.
The speed limit is 45 mph; but, with 6 lanes, it sometimes drives more like a freeway than a city street.
This morning, I was driving this road during prime commute hours. Just as I crossed one of the major intersections, a truck directly in front of me lost its load of plywood sheets. Because the wood was larger than the bed of his truck, his tailgate was opened and the wood sheets were unsecured, so they were an easy loss when his truck drove over a pretty deep bump in the road (a bump, by the way, that I am sure is intended to be a speed bump). These were big sheets of plywood, maybe 4 feet x 6 feet, so they posed a huge risk to oncoming traffic heading in both directions. The driver of the truck was moving pretty fast and totally didn’t notice his load fall off of his flatbed.
In the split second after these sheets of wood landed in the intersection, I was amazed at how quickly some drivers immediately went into action mode-
two drivers pulled off the road to drag the wood to the sidewalk and three drivers sped up to catch the truck and let him know that he’d lost his load!
I’m not sure what was happening in the mind of man who had lost the load of wood out of his pick up truck-
But as the three cars sped up to try to catch him and let him know the wood was no longer in his truck- he, too, kept speeding up. By the time the car nearest him was able to catch up, they were going much faster than the above mentioned 45 mph. Driver #1 told him what happened and driver #2 pulled off to the side of the road to see if he needed help re-loading the wood.
Although it seems like such a simple thing, I can’t help but think how much this mimics our own life and experience.
How often do we lose our own personal loads? Whether the load is making healthy meals for our families, keeping beds made and towels clean, or catching the emotional needs of our children in the moments they need us most-
I think we lose control of our loads more often than we realize. Without realizing it, something slides out the back as we are quickly trying to move forward. Sometimes the load is more than we are designed to hold and sometimes, in the craziness of life, we forget to secure our load with proper binding or protection; it can be more than too easy to forget to lock the latch on safety and security!
But, I also think we fail to see all the help that is following close behind us on our journey from one place to another. We don’t realize that right in our rear view mirror is the help and support we might need to re-claim what we’ve lost. And we may not realize how quickly this help is trying to catch up to us because we are trying our hardest to out-run the race of life.
When life gets a little challenging or I feel over-loaded, I am 1000% guilty of putting my head down and plowing forward- all systems go- when I feel like I’m losing my load. I often fail to see all the little ways that help is right beside me- often help that sees with more vision than I can see. This help might let me know that I’ve lost something that is important to me; it might offer to pick me up or get me to safety, and it might simply offer to get me turned around and back on my journey.
Today, I challenge you to look around and give yourself a moment to check on your own load and then look in for the help in your rear view mirror-
And more than anything, I ask you to slow down so that your help can catch up to you!