Putting the Brakes on Worry

There’s a part of my husband’s personality that I don’t understand. And there’s something about me he can’t relate to.

He’s never tempted to worry. Ever. About anything. I don’t think he knows how.

I’ve never been tempted to drive fast. I’ve never gotten a speeding ticket. I’m content to poke along in the slow lane, and I don’t mind if people pass me.

The other day our worlds came together in a beautiful way–his temptation to push the speed limit and mine to race from peace to worry.  

It all started when he asked if I wanted to ride with him to test-drive the 1976 Laguna he’s restoring.

If you can’t see the video below, click here.

He cranked the old, red Laguna, and the vroom-vroom-vroom reminded me of the first time I rode in his 1965 GTO. We were 15 and 16. He’d shifted gears back then too. I remembered the power. The speed. My hair swirling in the wind.

He’s always loved fast cars and loud engines.

Here we are in his 1972 Roadrunner before prom.

He’s been pulled over for speeding dozens of times. When he was sixteen, he got stopped four times–in one day. It’s been years since he got a ticket, but if there were no speed limits…

After we rode in the Laguna, we ran errands in my Dodge Journey. 

Over 40 years later. The same man. Same love of speed.

But he did something totally out of character.

It was as if he became a new person. 

He drove slower than normal, content to let cars zoom ahead of him.

“What are you doing?” I said.

“Usually we get 20 miles per gallon, but I’m up to 26.4 miles.” He pointed to the white arrow between 15 and 30. “If we keep the red line on the right side of the arrow, gas mileage improves.”

In all our years together, he’d never acted concerned about gas mileage. 

“That’s neat. What’s your secret?”

“Feathering the gas pedal and coasting. Every now and then, I glance at the white arrow.”

He was driving slowly. Like me. With no sense of urgency. 

Understanding came in the flicker of a moment, and the Red Sea parted in my mind.  

Change is possible for anyone–even me! If my husband, who loves speed, can choose to a drive differently, surely I can do the same thing with my thoughts.

I can put the brakes on worry.

I can refuse to go from zero to a hundred in a matter of seconds.

I can focus on God the same way Rick checks the white arrow. 

I have a choice.

I don’t have to race full-speed ahead into worry. Instead, I can choose to coast and pray. Click to tweet

Are you struggling with something? Do you drive too fast? Does worry tempt you? Is it something else? Please share! 

Love,

Julie

Marriage is like Shifting Gears…Together

I never learned to drive a stick shift but my husband sure can. He used to pick me up for school in his white 1965 GTO.  We were high school sweethearts, and I loved watching him drive that car. He knew the exact second to push the clutch and shift gears.

Last week, we were headed to the YMCA in his old truck. While he drove, I watched him shift gears, still fascinated. “Will you show me how again?” He’d tried to teach me when we were teenagers.

I put my hand on his.

“Okay, listen for the engine to whine. Hear it? Now go to second.”

“I forgot. Where’s second?”

“Remember the H?” He took his hand off the shifter. “You can do it.”

“Ahh! No I can’t. I don’t know which–”

“Sure you can.” He grinned at me.

He thinks I can. Maybe I can.

My heart kicked into high gear when I found second. “I did it!” And then I shifted into neutral by mistake.

“No big deal.” He put his hand on mine and slipped it into third. “You got it.”

“Thank you,” I said staring at his right hand, remembering.

 My husband knows cars, but he knows me even better.

“You’re too quiet,” he said. “What are you thinking?”

“Just…well, just that I’m grateful.”

“For what?”

Filled with emotion, I didn’t dare look at him. “You’ve turned a lot of wrenches so I can write. Thank you.”

He nodded.

I’ve almost finished the novel I’ve been writing. “You never doubted I could do it, did you?”

“Of course not.”

I squeezed his hand one, two, three times.

He squeezed back four times. I love you too.

 

Love,

Julie