The Message of the Windshield
"There is a reason that the windshield is so much larger than the rearview mirror."
This was spoken at an amazing wedding I attended a few weeks back by one of the pastors officiating the wedding. Future ahead. Clarity. I immediately got to thinking, as he was speaking, how I have routinely preached about putting things in the rearview mirror. Experiencing it and moving on with a focus of resilience, hopefulness and resolve.
Have I done it? Pretty much. Has it been hard? Pretty much.
I love analogies as many of you also know by now. I love the crystal clear feeling of a clean windshield. Carwash clean. My vision is clearer and I do not have to strain. Life is easy. There is focus and clarity. All things will end up okay.
But the important message is how do you respond when the windshield of your life is less than clear? When I drive to visit my mom in the summer, there is one spot of highway that literally projects the sound of rain on my windshield at night. The sound of water is not what is going on though, my friends. It is the sound of bugs dying on my windshield. Splat!
So, of course, the immediate reaction is to be disgusted. I also get worried as sometimes getting dead bugs off the windshield is not just an easy wash. It sometimes takes one or two cycles to get it crystal clear depending on factors such as effort and who is doing the car washing. Another response is to be frustrated as the view is not as clear and it does take hard work and energy to still get to the destination that I'm going to.
But, what if my immediate reaction was to take the next exit, stop my car, and give my keys to someone else? Or what if my reaction was to just keep looking in the rearview mirror? Neither of those responses would get me where I want to go.
Looking in the rearview mirror only allows a view of the past. Successes. Challenges. Yes, of course, you can learn from mistakes looking in the rearview mirror, but it only helps if you are able to apply those to the future through your windshield. And, the other option, to stop and give ownership of your keys to your peace is just plain crazy.
You have to drive your own path with your own set of keys to life. Focusing on your internal compass and strength. You determine with what speed and gusto you drive. You decide how you want to handle those unplanned detours. Do you do it with grace and patience or rage and ranting? Do you breathe through the detours and embrace gratitude or do you yell and scream at your GPS and bad luck?
Looking through the windshield with clarity is easy when it is clear. No effort involved. Just "add water" easy. But life is not a clear windshield. It is filled with dust, bugs and an occasional bird strike. The effort required to stay the course when your clarity is not there is the stuff that personifies resilience, hope, resolve.
So let me ask you a question. Will you choose to drive through the detours with finesse in order to experience an unplanned, but equally amazing adventure or will you throw a 2-year-old temper tantrum through those detours and get nowhere? Your choice. Your rules. Your windshield.