Making a lane.

Last night, we had a bachelorette party for my sister, full of laughter, food, and people who are dear to her. We went ice skating (outside! It was around 20 degrees for the first time in about a week, so we had good timing) and out to dinner. The weather was fine while we skated (though a little chilly), but when we came out of the restaurant a few hours later, we were met by freezing rain.

Mmm, lovely. One of the joys of winter.

I creeped along the highway in Audrey, singing along to the radio and praying that I wouldn’t spin out. 40 mph all the way home, about 20 miles. The freezing rain made a nice white slush on the road, masking the lane divisions just enough to make me nervous. Fortunately, there were other people out on the highway as well, so I could follow them. Even if they weren’t exactly centered in the lane, at least there was a train of cars to make it obvious that we think this is where the lane is. In addition to wanting to make sure that I was in some kind of lane, Audrey’s a light little thing, so it’s always better to stay in the tracks of those who have gone before.

I tend to not be a follower. Why do what someone else has done if you can make your own path and do something new and adventurous? It’s my deep need for individuality. Something about being a second child. But last night, I found that I really needed to follow these strangers.

I wondered about them. Were they nervous about the slick roads, like me? Were they just as oh well, we’ll just hope we don’t cause any problems by not knowing if we’re actually in a lane as I was? Did they have some trepidation about following the person in front of them? Do we all have trust issues?

And I suppose there had to be someone at the front, really feeling the pressure to lead these people well. Or maybe everyone was following someone else.

Maybe we’re all followers. And if we’re not, maybe we need to be. Maybe it’s just all about who you follow. Maybe it’s okay to not blaze your own trail – or maybe you haven’t ever really done that… it was just a little overgrown when you found it – and to go where others have travelled.

Maybe what matters is that Jesus is our initial trail blazer. Maybe if we just adhere to that and follow, we’ll stay off the shoulder and in a lane of sorts, continuing on our journey rather than being out of commission on the side of the road.

Amazing what a long, perilous drive in freezing rain that eventually turns to gigantic snowflakes can make you think of.

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