Standing on the Brakes
We live some two and a half miles down a very quiet road which runs along a narrow finger of the Cumberland Plateau. We are not immediately on the edge of the bluff, but because we are at its highest point we have wonderful views of both the sunrise and the sunset. We are surrounded by nature and wildlife in an area where the passage of six cars in an hour constitutes heavy traffic.
The geology of this area, however means that the only possible route for the downhill descent from the bluff runs parallel begins at our altitude and follows a long, steep grade to the valley below. Prior to the arrival of the interstate, the passage over Monteagle Mountain could be treacherous, if not fatal, for long distance truckers.
So we hear the trucks.
Normally the traffic is a just distant hum, and it serves as a reminder to me that the blessings of food, goods and services are being continually transported across this beautiful area to the rest of the country. But not all the truckers have learned to navigate the road without standing on the brakes all the way down the mountain. It’s loud, unnecessary, destructive to their brakes and their engines, and seriously irritates drivers and other truckers. I can only imagine what standing on the brakes of a fully laden tractor trailer is doing to the trucker’s blood pressure.
But isn’t that what life is like? Some of us are so petrified by the hills and valleys of life that we spend all our time standing on the brakes, just praying to get down the mountain in one piece. We cannot see that it is counterproductive, and we will not see that it is not necessary.
We are especially prone to behaving this way when the mountains are spiritual. We may know that there is only one way through, but we seem to be determined to make the transit as grudgingly (and loudly) as possible.
We forget that we are on the ride with God, and that we can trust God to see us to our destination. We need not destroy our emotional and physical engines by believing that the only way we will survive is by kicking, screaming, throwing out the anchor, and burning out our transmissions.
The more we resist, the more treacherous the mountains become.