Windshield or Rearview Mirror

April 28, 2010

Sr. Wantabee was at the retirement center today and had long chats with two 88 year old residents. They had been doing life review and wondering why they were were alive. What’s the point? Their family had died. Their friends had died. Their minds were healthy but their bodies were weak and they were of no use to anyone. Why live? But death is not so easy an option either.

Sr. Wantabee thought of the audio book she had listened to over the past five days. It was the story of the Guardian by Nicolas Sparks. A young, age 29, widow returns to the world of dating only to be torn between the the handsome debonair man who turns out to be a stalker and the homegrown mechanic with whom she is so comfortable and enjoys life. At one point in the story she is driving down the road reflecting on the people in her life and remembers how she had decided that people were of two sorts. There are the “windshield” people and there are the “rear view mirror” people. The windshield people look ahead to see what’s coming and are excited about it while the rear view mirror people look back to see what’s behind and what’s chasing them. Sr. Wantabee heard this and laughed. She remembered teaching her second son to drive in Chicago. At one point, in his excitement of driving, he verbally reflects, “I don’t know if I’m trying to stay ahead of the guys behind me or catch up with the guys ahead of me, Mom!” How very true. Are we looking ahead or are we afraid of what is catching up with us from behind? Is the knowledge that we are a valuable child of God and that He is strong enough and capable enough to lead and guide our lives and speak to us if we are going the wrong direction enough motivation to keep us going when our friends have left the road and we are feeling alone and forgotten by society? What keeps us focused on the windshield?

Sr. Wantabee thought of her prayer that she has been working on this month from the book of Romans 15:13, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”