Everyday I go to work, I drive down this long, dark road. There are no streetlights to light the way. The trees hang overhead like fingers ready to close on top of you. And the road itself is rough with patches and potholes and strips so rattling it could rock pieces from your vehicle. Don’t even bother trying to drive on it when it snows. You’ll end up in the ditch.
I think it’s pretty cool to drive on that dark road and wonder what’s hiding beyond the reach of your headlights. Yet, some mornings, when the weight of disappointment or doubt or any other negative trait anyone could feel ashamed for hangs heavy on your shoulders, that dark road has a lot more meaning to it.
Maybe you always hear that metaphor of “driving down the road of life,” or “life is a highway,” but maybe you need to hear it again? Sometimes, the road gets dark. You only have your light to shine the way and it may not feel like enough. You can’t see beyond the trees, a deer might dart out in front of you and ruin your plans, or you pass a creepy figure walking down the middle of the road. Then, you got the rough patches and potholes shaking you up. You could try to avoid them, but then you’re not watching for deer. Dark times can feel overbearing. There’s so much to focus on, so much you have to do, that something can hit you out of nowhere and it’ll feel like everything is falling a part.
I’m sure you can relate my dark drive to work to something in your life that’s hanging on your heart. Maybe career, maybe family, something medical? Whatever it is, there is a bright side and in my little tale, I literally mean bright.
I take this long, dark road to work, and at the end of it, I get to a hill that scares the living daylights out of me when it snows. It’s a tall hill with potholes in the exact spots where everyone likes to drive. My truck is a manual, so shifting is a challenge when we reach this hill, and my old man (truck) complains when we don’t have the momentum to stay in the proper gear. Yet, even with how difficult this hill is. It’s still my favorite part of the drive. Here’s why:
The road faces east and with the hill, the trees part so you can see the horizon way above your head. Above that, you can see the glow of the early morning light. Sometimes, its a warm yellow like the sun is about to pop over and smile at you. Other times, its a hazy orange or depending on the cloud cover you get majestic violets and blues that give a dreamy look to the morning. It gives me hope for the day and it’s a nice reminder that brighter times are bound to come.
Lately, the cloud cover has been so thick with winter weather that the horizon stays dark when I reach that hill. I could let it discourage me. Let it be an omen for a rotten day to come, but just because I don’t see the morning light, that doesn’t mean the sun isn’t coming up. I just focus on avoiding the potholes and I hope that tomorrow will have more of a heavenly glow.
When the hill does shine with morning light. I try not to take my eyes off it. It’s a beautiful reminder that it’s always darkest before the dawn (a literal reminder in this case). I could focus on the potholes and how my truck is struggling, but I’ve never not made it up that hill. I’m not going to believe I’m not going to make it up this time or the next time or the time after that. If I worry about that, then I miss the sunrise, the brightness of what’s ahead.
Now, I’m sure you know where I’m going with this by now. Whatever’s going on in your life, you could sit there and stare at your troubles, your metaphoric potholes, or how you’re barely moving forward. Or, you could focus on what’s ahead. Focus on dreams coming true and that hope on the horizon. Don’t let the dark road you might be on overcome you. Reach for that sunrise and eventually you’ll get there. I believe in you.