This Toll Booth is Closed
By Cynthia Ruchti –
Each hash mark on the highway ticked off another few inches of a very long road trip. My friend and I made use of every moment, brainstorming new projects, talking about the latest antics of our drama queen and king grandchildren, proposing answers to the national debt crisis, and discussing the intricacies of nuclear physics. Come to think of it, we didn’t get to the last two subjects.
Fully engaged in what is always stimulating conversation with this dear heart-friend, we barely noticed the scenery flying by. My friend drove and I took notes when we landed on a plot solution for a new book or a recipe for slow cooker pork chops. The designated recording secretary for our road trip’s discussions, I filled a small notebook, writing in the margins, flipping pages for a new rabbit trail subject that caught our attention.
Aware of every nuance of thought and the joy of having time to talk out things we’d only been able to hint at when separated by too many miles, neither of us noticed when my friend pulled into a toll booth with a red X overhead.
Three other toll booths boasted bright green Xs. They were open for business. We, however, were stuck in a closed lane with no way out except to brave the oncoming toll traffic and back out, against the flow of racing, unforgiving steel.
My friend was mortified that she’d missed the big red X. Closed. It had happened so fast, as everything does on a superhighway. We laughed about it after the problem was resolved. But today, as I remember that moment of realization that we’d missed the warning and driven straight into a dead end because we were momentarily distracted, I wonder how many other times in life that’s happened to me.
PRAYER: Lord God, don’t let my attention waver from the signs You place all around me, the warning signs, the dead end signs, the bridge out warnings, the flashing lights that can keep me from veering off course if I just pay attention. I don’t want to get caught in a relationship or emotional or spiritual place with no easy way out.
BIBLE VERSE: “The LORD says, ‘I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you,’” (Psalm 32:8 NLT).