May 4, 2010

Under Construction

I drive to work on a highway that was built 2 years before I was born. It used to be referred to as a "bypass" because when it was built, it was out in the country, allowing interstate travelers to bypass the city. Now it's a four-lane highway smack dab in the center of town and it is far too small for the amount of traffic it carries each day.

This heavily used portion of interstate has concrete barriers separating the eastbound lanes from the westbound lanes and not only does it not have any inside shoulders, it barely has any outside shoulders. Three years ago, one of our highway commissioners said this about the section I drive: "You're like a pinball if you make a mistake on this stretch of highway."

No kidding. It cracked me up when I read that quote, because it's the honest're a pinball doing 60 in the midst of hundreds of other pinballs doing 60...or more. New drivers cringe when they drive along it but it has been 35 years since I was a new driver, so it doesn't faze me anymore.

You know what does faze me? 
  • Highway construction
  • Orange barrels
  • Road closure signs.
  • Highway speed limits of 45 mph
Yeah, improving that stretch of highway fazes the heck out of me. Damn progress.

Alright, I'm kidding...but only partly. I want the highway to be widened. I long to drive on a 6-lane stretch highway that doesn't have the concrete divider down the middle of it, but the 2-3 years it will take us to get there makes me crazy.

And it's not just the highway itself, but the construction required on the 2 major arterial streets to the north and south of the highway, too. That means that when I get off of the highway each morning, I'm still in the midst of construction regardless of which way I turn. Drivers are impatient with one another to the point of the absurd. If someone 2 cars ahead pulls up 4 inches, God help you if everyone else doesn't follow suit because the horns are gonna start blowin'. It's not even hot yet and tempers are flaring.

I can forget about taking the highway home because It's worse going the other direction. I keep reminding myself that this project has taken decades just to get started. What's another couple of years?

Some 20+ years ago, a former Governor who had pushed for the project was asked when he thought this section of highway would be widened. His response? "It won't happen in our lifetimes." I had begun to think he was right, and I didn't entirely mind. Yeah, the highway is far too narrow and it can be a stressful drive, but I was used to it. Yes, I know it's going to be better when it's done, but getting there is such a painful process.

And such is life. God wants to take us from here to there, and sometimes that requires a painful process, too. Sometimes it just means letting go of the narrow highways that we find comfort in and allowing Him to do His work.

"...He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."  Philippians 1:6


  1. aaaaaaaaargh! i avoid that stretch like the
    plague. it is nice to have lewis back, though.

  2. Now they've moved to my part of Lewis. ;-)

  3. Sorry you have to deal with construction - it's "of the devil" in my book too.

    But....I can definitely see right now the construction going on in my life is annoying, painful at times, and ever so time consuming...but prayerfully...I'm gonna be really sparkly and pretty in the end.