The Fabulous Familiar

Taking the ordinary and making it extraordinary...

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


Those of you who know me quite well realize that I am directionally challenged. In saying this, I do not mean that it is simply hard for me to make it to halfway-across-the-United-States destinations; my handicap far surpasses that. Most people have trouble at some point navigating a 36-hour trip. I, however, can follow someone to the restaurant down the street and not be able to find the way back to my house.

It's like my brain only knows one way somewhere and fails to realize that streets intersect so that you can make a wrong turn and still know where you are headed. I make one wrong turn and it's as if I have entered another state. Neither Searcy nor Paragould are a thriving metropolis, yet to my confused mind, I sometimes feel as if I live in Los Angeles.

I give you this background to say that I decided to take a solo 9-hour trip to visit my grandparents in Texas. This is quite a feat for a girl who gets lost going to the grocery store. But still, I decided this was something that I needed to do for myself; along with the desire to see my family.

So, I put my red suitcase in the trunk, plugged in my GPS and headed on my first driving adventure without my parents and brothers. I didn't make it out of Searcy before I decided I needed some coffee and breakfast. Driving through Burger King was the first traumatic event for Agnus (my GPS; I apologize to anyone who might know a sweet Agnus, but it's a fitting name for my monotone, grumpy GPS voice).

I hadn't so much as ordered a croissant sandwich and she is firmly stating, "Re-calculating! Re-calculating!" She was already grating on my nerves and it hadn't even been 30 minutes.

"Can I not get a sandwich?" I snapped. "Is that a CRIME?"

Once I got on the interstate, it stated that it was like 200+ miles until my next turn so I got to enjoy some peace and quiet without Agnus nagging me about something. By peace and quiet, I mean singing to Journey and Aerosmith at the top of my lungs.

When it became time to start making decisions, I soon realized that Agnus and I have a misunderstanding of the the phrase, "Keep right." We would reach an intersection that literally had 3 choices to turn right; some more straightforward and some a little sharper to the right with a yield sign. On several occasions, I made the wrong choice.

"Agnus! You're going to have to expand a little more than that. I can't see you because I broke the thing that holds you to my windshield so you are going to have to be more straightforward with me."

She would only respond with "Re-calculating, Re-Calculating!" Before I knew it, she would have me on some country road that I sometimes feared was some one's long driveway. Cows looked up from their grazing as if to say, "Aren't you supposed to be on the Interstate, lady?"

I then saw a sign that said, "State funds stop here." What does that even mean, I asked myself. I had barely formed the question in my mind before my poor car was riding the waves of uneven pavement. It is literally like a child was grabbing handfuls of pavement, throwing it sporadically and letting it dry in puddles all over the road.

As I am emerging from this roller coaster ride, with the horses and cows all around me, I noticed something: This place is beautiful. Each side of the road was canopied in large, beautiful trees. There were picturesque barns and sounds of nature that have become foreign to my ears.

This is not to say that I immediately repaired my relationship with Agnus and was glad to be who knows where; but I knew, deep down, that Agnus would indeed get me to my grandparent's house. It might be the long way; it might be down country roads, but I would end up at my destination.

My relationship with Agnus is definitely a love-hate relationship. I most often find that, like my relationship with God, my friendship with Agnus is dependent upon how I feel about MY choices and MY mistakes. When I become angry with her, it is most often because I am frustrated with myself. While she had me turning circles in a LOVE's truck stop parking lot for about five minutes, I soon realized that I was the one being stubborn and ridiculous. Once I began talking to myself and getting myself straight, I realized I would be OK.

She never gets angry with me when I make a wrong turn; she never calls me names or says, "I told you so, stupid." Instead, she steadily states that she is going to re-calculate and take care of the problem. Yet, I find myself incredibly aggravated with her for trying to fix my bad turn.

This sounds eerily familiar to how I am with God. It's like I sort of trust him when he takes me down country roads and leads me on bumpy paths in the middle of nowhere, but not really. There are times that I want to turn him off and just do it my way. It is only when I calm down and enjoy the present that detours aren't so bad. And when one realizes that a majority of your life is made up by detours you didn't see coming, maybe it will make us more inclined to enjoy them and take them for what they are.

I will be the first to admit that I, along with the company of many friends in the same boat, occupy the "limbo stage" right now. I don't know what my future holds when it comes to a job, family or place to live; all of that is my destination. I can't not appreciate life in the present though.

I am trying to find assurance in this stage of life; some days I come out more positive than others. Some days I come out mad at God and Agnus for not being more clear about their path for me. But I know that I have a Heavenly Father whose patience exponentially exceeds dear Agnus. He has told me to "Keep right" my whole life and we've all seen how I do with those directions.

Instead of being angry though, he smiles down on me and kindly says--without the monotone, irritating voice of a virtual human being--

"You may have taken a wrong turn, but I am re-calculating for you. We will get there using another path."

Needless to say, I made it to my grandparents safely. I woke up this morning to a breakfast of scrambled eggs, bacon and cinnamon crust. I reached my destination just like Agnus said I would; she just had some surprises for me along the way.


Blogger HannahKey said...

Ahhhhh..... cinnamon crust. You really are at Mema and Papa's, aren't you? ;-) It wouldn't be a Mema breakfast without cinnamon crust!

Love you, cuz! I really hope we get to see each other on Saturday!

June 16, 2010 at 5:29 PM  
Blogger Ronda said...

Wish I was there with you! I always enjoy seeing how you can take the simple things and apply them to life. Love need to write a devotional book using many of your blog entries.

June 16, 2010 at 8:25 PM  
Blogger Cole said...

I agree with your mom, this is great stuff!

June 23, 2010 at 10:04 AM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home