“Don’t let someone else drive your car. If you make the decision to pull into traffic before you’re ready because the driver behind you is impatient, it will be your car in the accident, not his. You get to drive this car. You make the decisions when you are comfortable, not when it suits someone else.” (paraphrase) Mrs. Anne Lauer
When I was in high school, I spent a great deal of time with our landlady, Mrs. Anne. I learned so much from her about what it means to be a friend, a wife, a mom, and a follower of Jesus. She also taught me several very practical things. And, she let me drive her around to practice for my driving test.
Not far from our house was a dangerous intersection (Harp Road and Highway 92) that had to be navigated on most trips. With no stop light, turning onto the HWY had to be done with caution and at the discretion of the driver. As an inexperienced teenager, I would get nervous when we arrived at this intersection. I would also become aware of the driver behind me who believed I should have already pulled into traffic.
It was in this situation that I learned something very valuable that has served me well in many areas of life. Mrs. Anne said, “Don’t let someone else drive your car.” Now, she didn’t mean that I shouldn’t loan a car to a friend or let someone drive my car (although that’s always something to consider carefully). She meant that, as the one behind the wheel, I was in charge of when driving decisions were made. The person behind me perhaps couldn’t see how quickly oncoming traffic was approaching. Or, because they weren’t familiar with my car, they may not know that the acceleration is slow or spotty. And, should I make the decision to slip into traffic because someone else was in a hurry and it caused an accident, it would be MY fault, not anyone else’s.
Mrs. Anne was always so patient with me. She told me we could sit there as long as we needed for me to be comfortable. She gave me options and taught me how to make driving decisions. But, she was always teaching me more than just the physical lesson at hand. She was mentoring me and discipling me whether I knew it or not.
Now, when someone else’s idea of how quickly a situation should be progressing, how I should be handling it, or whether they approve at all starts to raise my emotional temperature, I think of Mrs. Anne. I remember not to “let someone else drive my car”. If I make a decision based on someone else’s comfort, I am still the one who has to live with the consequences. So, I take a moment, take a deep breath, and release the need to move at someone else’s pace. I get to drive my car, no one else.
Thanks, Mrs. Anne, for the many wise things you taught me. I hear your words often and my husband appreciates the cooking lessons!