For many years I lived in a northern coastal region that was equally beautiful to the landscape I currently inhabit, however that area was frequently choked with traffic! Is there anything more frustrating? Your sailing along with a full agenda of appointments and responsibilities and you jump into an onramp and screech to a depressing stop. You are trapped. Gridlocked. And there is no way out. I’ve never been able to discern whether it is worse to be at a dead standstill or inching painstakingly forward. Either condition is excruciating for now you know that you will be late. Your whole day will not be in sync and the consequences of this torture begin to reverberate within, until you become a simmering, anxious wreck.
The place where I now live is almost traffic free. Oh there are those moments when you get behind a slow moving truck or road construction bottlenecks three lanes into one but for the most part I zoom across this map. Last night I was invited to the country home of a parishioner and was making my way there at a time of day when people all over the planet were undoubtedly stationary. I was zipping through mountains, vineyards, ordered sections of earth designated for gigantic heads of red cabbage and this entire splendor sitting placidly under a windswept slate blue sky. In moments like those I am suffused with gratitude for the ability to move unencumbered: to be able to dash here and there without getting stuck!
I cannot help but wonder if my heart and soul are as free as the traffic patterns in this utopia. It occurs to me that Jesus is always offering freedom and forgiveness. His voice is always calling us to look at this current moment and beyond. In my own life there have been great, precious volumes of time spent brooding over the past: decisions, injustices, heartbreaks that have paralyzed and crippled my ability to be happy or optimistic. And I am not alone. Conversations with others frequently revolve around their inability to release the past or make peace with the present. I am not sure precisely how one lets go of those ancient wounds and emotional traffic jams but it seems that the first step is to direct your vehicle to the off-ramp. To desire freedom is the beginning of an amazing journey that takes you out of the prison of yesterday and into the free moving world of the possible.“The secret of happiness is freedom, the secret of freedom is courage.” Carrie Jones, Need.