A few weeks ago I was driving down Highway 290, here in Austin, on my way to pick up my son from his rock-climbing camp. I was in a great mood, having a really good day, and before I knew it something was flying straight at the front of my car. The next few seconds seemed like slow motion, and I can recall it very vividly.
I remember seeing what looked like a large piece of cardboard fly up from underneath a car in the lane next to me but ahead of me a little. The air got underneath whatever this was in such a way that as it flew up it got caught in a stream of air that pushed it immediately and rapidly towards my car.
In my slow motion state I remember wondering if I had time to dodge or swerve to avoid being hit, and I remember having the awareness to know that people were in the lanes next to me so I couldn’t move over. I also remember thinking, “Well, here it comes, I better just brace for it.”
The moment of impact proved to me this was not a piece of innocent cardboard. It must have been a thin sheet of metal because it scraped up the hood of my car and immediately shattered my windshield. The noise of the windshield shattering was so loud, and I remember feeling slivers of glass in my lap and closing my eyes, wondering if the whole thing was going to fall in.
It turns out it didn’t, and I was okay, and I was able to drive to pick up my son carefully looking through the shattered glass.
I found out later from the guy who fixed my windshield that I “was very lucky”. He told me that had I swerved the metal could have gone through my side window (those aren’t tempered) and could have killed me or made the situation much more dangerous.
So all this got me thinking.
When things….challenges, difficulties, things I don’t understand, hard relationship issues, trials and painful learning experiences…..come at me, and sometimes seem to come flying at me, will I face them head on or will I dodge them, avoid them or bury my head in the sand?
I wonder when we choose the second option how much we delay the breakthrough, how much we miss out on what could have been gained, or how much trouble we create for ourselves?
I believe we dodge because we are afraid. We believe we won’t have what it takes to succeed, or to find our way through, or we fear rejection, failure, and hurt. Or we think it isn’t all that important to our lives, to our learning, to the transformation of our character, so perhaps we just want a “pass” or the easy way out. Or we just want to pretend it isn’t happening at all so we avoid conversations that need to be had, difficult decisions we need to make, or shifts in our attitudes.
I am so glad I didn’t try to avoid the object coming at my window recently. Turns out I got a brand new windshield, which is really great because I had had this spreading crack across my windshield for quite awhile. So now my vision is clear and I can see without hindrance.
Same holds true for us when we face life head on. I believe when we play the game of life with courage and choose to embrace ALL of it–the great, the confusing, the scary, the painful—we gain amazing clarity, we reveal our authentic selves, and we behold opportunities once hidden.
We were created to be on the leading edge. We were created to be inventive. We were created to evolve from glory to glory…
So the next time an opportunity “comes right at you”, I encourage you to stand and be with what comes, accept instead of resist, and know that you are on a mystical, though sometimes shrouded, path to freedom, clarity, and a new day.
On the path,