I set the cruise, a speed comfortable in the mist-became rain-became a mess for driving the I-94 splashway.  In the right lane, my comfort cruise certainly became a traveler’s annoyance.  Cars splushed past, jacked up-headlights unforgivingly glaring in the rearview-4 wheeler-get over old timer sprayed past, cut in, then back out, and semis steadily sheeted alongside until the lumbering motion carried them past and I blinked lights to let the drivers know they’d cleared me.  Every vehicle had a hurry, a place to be, just not here, not around my car on cruise control at 68MPH and not around me in steady conversation with my Lord.  And by golly each was going to be on time.  I knew when my exit from madness came, many of these harried hustlers would be arriving just a few seconds ahead of me.  Murphy’s Law.  The hurrier one goes, the behinder one gets.  Driver’s Ed course 101:  All the speed up and slow down gains zip in the long haul and maybe, just maybe, gets one wrecked.  But then, I’ve done it too.  The dazzling, fast car frantic of rush and “lead, follow, or just get out of the way.”

And just where does all the hurry get us and what does it save?  An upper classman back in the day rushed to get home from a night of frivolity.  His rodded ’49 Ford pierced the night, a black stiletto of chopped and channeled beauty with a flathead brummbling the miles behind.  He crested a hill, speed unknown, and “launched”, the Ford cutting off an electric pole about 1/3 of the way up.  He retold the “I survived” tale many times – left out just how late he was after much hospital time.  So many folk dilly and dally until the last minute, then rush and stress to “be on time” to the gathering, to church, to school, or to meetings.  “Made it!  Hit all the lights and yellow means give’er and go anyway.  Should-a seen that guy’s face when I passed….”  Let’s face it – we go, go, go to get, get, get and fret about where the time went, went, went while we head to bed to do it all again, again, again tomorrow.  And another today disappears into a blurred yesterday and “I’ll take some time tomorrow.”

I had a chance to talk about writing this past week thanks to an invitation from the Young at Heart.  In hindsight and review of the time spent, I realized even more how chasing peace never lets us catch it.  It comes in the ‘whoah’ of things.  Maybe it’s an illness, an accident, a friend in need, a disaster – but the message of the event is clear.  “Stop.  Wait a minute.”  And we pray a little or a lot, depending, and in faith the peace comes.  God in His way lets us know He’s “got it” and we just need to drop it in His hands, whatever the ‘it’ may be.  I pray for VELC, we all do.  We desire a Pastor to shepherd us and we want one in hurry, pretty quick, you know.  God’s got it.  Let Him work.  Faith.  Our faith community still baptizes, still marries, still brings compassion to sadness, still fulfills our every need as we motor along.

We aren’t in a misty fog on a splush-along road to some safe haven exit.  We don’t have a cruise control on faith.  You see it – God is WITH us.  We greet each other, we share the peace that surpasses understanding, we hug, we ask “is all well with you” so often – we care for each other.  And that is God’s grace in the midst of us.  Assuring.  Living.  Loving.  In the events in my life this past year, and in recent years, if I have learned nothing else, I have learned I am not in control nor can I fix everything that’s broken.  I gained trust.  To have it, I have to give it and to give it, I have to know God’s love.  As I so often reflect in my thinks, I find That Love every day in the nooks and crannies of beauty in this creation in which I live.  submitted by Dave Smith