Youth4Him Home

Taking Time to "Smell the Roses" at 60 MPH
Pastor Joe Giacometti ©2002

I would be the first to tell you that I love to drive. I thoroughly enjoy cars, and I love driving. I am what's known as an automobile enthusiast. I enjoy all class of cars for what they were designed specifically to do. Most people who know me know my appreciation for automobiles and the art of driving. In fact, of my group of friends, I'm usually included in the driving for many occasions, whether it's going out for the night, or on various trips and vacations we take. I guess I just started being the driver young and it's stuck since then. And I enjoy it. I rarely get dragged into it, rather I volunteer and am happy to do so, if it just isn't a given that I'm driving in the first place. (Although, since one of my friends just got a new car, I'm sure I'll be leaving mine behind to go along with him a lot more on our nightly endeavors).

I can also tell you that I'm a looker. I love looking around at everything, noticing my surrounding. Taking notice of all the little things that are a part of any given setting that I'm in. People, trees, houses, landscape, who in the car going the other way, whatever. I look at it all. Unfortunately these two things don't make a good match. Love to drive, love to look. Though I'm guilty of looking around WAY more than I should when I drive, I do not recommend this to any one reading this right now. I think what keeps me safe is healthy peripheral vision, and the guidance and protection of God himself. However, as much as I do try to notice despite the fact that I'm driving, I do still miss quite a bit. Of course I notice this those times that I am not driving for whatever reason, and have the chance to look around unrestricted from the responsibilities of driving.
So, one day while thinking, I came to the following conclusion about the above dilemma. As long as I'm healthy and have a good life in front of me, I enjoy taking on the task of driving. I'm good with directions, I have no problem with driving long distances, and most people don't like to drive all the time so for those people I like to make sure they know I have no problem with it. I enjoy it, and I enjoy helping out those who don't by doing so. However, all the above in mind, the conclusion I came to was this. If for some reason, I were ever to find out that my life would be limited, I would stop driving. If it was confirmed that I only had a certain amount of time left to live, I want to take more time to notice all there is around me. I know what it's like to drive, and I enjoy it, but there's so much more around all of us that is so much more important.

I would not give up driving altogether. Obviously I wouldn't rely on other people to take me places I needed to go, I just wouldn't be so adamant about volunteering to drive in the social situations mentioned above. Let my friends/family drive, and just sit back and enjoy the ride. I would want to see as much of this world that there is before the Lord took me away from it. For instance, I'm on a bus right now, coming home from a trip from Orlando, FL. Since I work in my home town, and was quite involved with Band and Chorus while in High School, my band director, who also happens to be the chairperson of the church youth council, asked me to join their once-every-four-year trip to Disney World. I saw this as a neat opportunity, as I myself went on this trip as a student, many of the kids in the youth group are on this trip and It was a great opportunity to gain relationships with addition youth in the high school.

Anyway, we just drove past a golf course, and I watched it all as we passed, being quite an avid golfer. And this is the sort of thing that I'm talking about. If I were driving, I wouldn't have been able to see nearly as much of that golf course as just a minute ago. Or anything else worth looking at on the way, which is pretty much anything. I'm still very much like a little kid in that sense. I like to see everything. If a plane or helicopter flies overhead, I'm watching it. While most people grow out of that, I don't think I ever will. I think that this is a very important aspect of life. We should all take the time to notice our surroundings, and all of the things God has created and blessed us with. Maybe not while driving so much, but at other times. Many people have forgotten that the little things in life are important, and can almost be therapeutic for the soul. Too busy and too caught up in everything else to even care about the beauty in the world. And sure, some of the things you notice while taking the time to look around might not be pleasant, but you'd be surprised how many interesting things there are to look at out there.

This isn't necessarily a Biblical principle of any sort, but God certainly wants us to acknowledge his power and Glory through his creation. It bothers me that people fail to take the time to recognize this much of the time. Even seeing much of the things that we have created as man sometimes is cool (a golf course among other stuff). I do know that I don't want to go through life and not notice all there is to notice along the way. So the next time you're on a drive with a friend, or a bus ride, or in general, see what there is to see. See if you can notice anything different. And don't forget to be thankful for all that God has put around you.