Tina Mayeux reflects on using our driving time wisely, keeping our eyes focused on our final destination.
Recently, someone I know said she drives her children around so much, that she was going to "paint her car yellow." Moms often find themselves in the position of designated Family Taxi Driver. I have certainly earned this distinguished title in our family, and you may have too. This is not all bad, as it gives us time in our busy lives to stop and have conversations with our children, and to also take time for silence or prayer.
Where we live, things are really spread out across the city. To get from here to there usually requires a significant drive and involves a good amount of time. Rather than listen to the radio, I have been trying to spend this time praying the Rosary or listening to a good spiritual podcast. I have found that rather than listening to secular radio, our time is better spent in prayer, silence, or listening to Catholic radio or an edifying discussion via podcast. In this way, we are giving our time to God while traveling, dropping kids off, and running errands, without "wasting" these precious moments.
Another suggestion that many moms employ is using this time in our vehicles to talk to our children and address issues we may need to discuss with them. Often, our days are so filled with work, school, and other activities that we neglect to pause and just "be" with our families, spending time listening to our children and speaking to them about important things we need to address. Taxi time is an ideal time to have these conversations with them. Aside from the, "How was your day?" question, we can ask them how they are feeling, if there is anything they need, and other questions to inspire conversation.
While today we may be running our children to soccer practice or band rehearsal, our life's voyage is a journey to Jesus. It is crucial to remember and keep in mind that this place is not our home so that we don't get too comfortable and fall into laziness or sloth on the way. St. John Paul II notes in Love and Responsibility that St. Thomas describes sloth as "a sadness arising from the face that the good is difficult."
This road we are on is not always easy and, like the roads we travel in our cars, we are faced with difficulties and obstacles along the way. Jesus was clear that "Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me." (Matthew 16:24) There are times when we may lose focus on our destination and become distracted by life's worries or even its pleasures. When this happens, we can pause for prayer and ask the Lord to help us refocus and remain faithful.
Just as there are traffic laws and rules, we are guided by the Church's wisdom, given to us through Scripture and Tradition. The Commandments and the Beatitudes teach us about living in relationship with God and others. My second daughter was recently studying for the test to receive her driver's permit. I love the way she has been so focused on understanding each and every rule. It reminds me that we should also desire to know God's law and understand our Faith more fully through spiritual reading and study.
Through all the traffic jams, red lights, and potholes of life, it is important to remember that these difficulties are temporary, but Heaven is eternal. Staying close to Jesus each moment of the day will help us to avoid getting distracted and veering off-course. There is "one way" to Heaven and it is the Cross. Today, let's focus on Jesus and ask Him to be with us as we travel this road to Eternity.
Our lives are a journey from here to there: from where we are now to our final destination of Heaven. Are we using the time on this road wisely?
Copyright 2021 Christina Mayeux
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