On my last night before driving back to school, I was out with my parents and boyfriend for a last hurrah. My dad was driving, and my parents were discussing which way to go. Something was said about not being able to see that far ahead, and my smart mouth, pop culture loving self quoted one of my favorite franchises.
In a deep voice, I said “I live my life a quarter mile at a time.”
My mom turned around to look at me like I was crazy, and my dad started chuckling. We share an affinity for quoting movies at inappropriate times.
The Fast and Furious franchise is all about family, and living life to the fullest while enjoying the moments in life as they come. Maybe not the best kid friendly, or family movies, but one of my favorite parts about the franchise is Dominic Toretto’s loyalty to his family (blood or not) and his giving thanks to God before eating his meals.
The quote “I live my life a quarter mile at a time,” is something Vin Diesel’s character, Dom says to Brian O’Conner, played by Paul Walker. It’s from the first movie, The Fast and the Furious. He is referring to the length of a drag race, where he can be free for those ten seconds. But when I think about the phrase, I think back to the comment made in the car with my family.
We can only see what is happening to us in the moment. We can only see a little bit up the road on our personal journeys. We can’t see the destination. We don’t know which detours Google Maps will take us. We can’t predict when we will be sitting in traffic next year on a certain Tuesday at 9:03am.
I’m not that great when giving directions to someone on the actual road. I have to follow a map, or listen to the GPS. I simply do not know the way, or what is up ahead. I sure do like to worry, and plan it all out though. I also really, really hate those detour signs that were not in my calculations. And being stuck in standstill traffic? It eats up my patience. I do not like living my life a quarter mile at a time. I like to MapQuest all my days out, with insight to where I will be thirty years from now.
We search for the fastest, quickest way to get to places in life with the fewest obstacles, and we often lose our way in the process. We forget to slow down, and enjoy that moment of being free for ten seconds and soak up the moments on our journey.
So, I applaud those who can live their lives a quarter a mile at a time. Wouldn’t it be so nice to let go of the wheel and be free?
Well, we can be. We don’t have to know the way to get there, as long as we are following The Way.
We don’t have to type in an address and let a little piece of technology guide our lives because we already have The Truth.
We can live our lives by doing all we can in the moments gifted to us by The Life.
For Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
We don’t have to be the fastest to reach the destination, and when we start going our own way, we lose the right Way.
There is no need for us to map out the way because Jesus already did it for us when he died on the cross for our sins. We don’t need to see 50 miles up the road because God already knows each and every turn, detour, and stop sign we will have to pause at before we get where we are supposed to go. His Word can be a lamp to our feet and a light to our paths (Psalm 119:105). Besides who needs self-made maps or plans when the Holy Bible already tells which way to go and who to follow?
Even though I am a planner, worrier, and love to know how it all works out for me, I take comfort in knowing that God has a plan for me and He already knows how it works out in the end. You can too! As Carrie Underwood advised, “Jesus, take the wheel!”
Her song and Dom’s quote “I live my life a quarter a mile at a time,” are reminders to me that God is in control at the wheel of my life, and there is no need for me to switch lanes, put on the brakes, or put the pedal to the metal. I can sit back, gaze out the window, and enjoy the ride.