More wisdom from the road well travelled

I’ve been indulging in some drive-by musings:  mulling over the lessons learned while driving.


If only DC’s traffic was this easy breezy beautiful!

I wrote a snarky post two years ago on wisdom from the road well travelled.  I’m in a more contemplative frame of mind now:  There’s a lot to learn while on the road, with potential lifelong applications.

Only when we’re stuck can we see the things we normally breeze past.

DC’s traffic is considered the worst in the nation.  My impatience grows when I realize that I’m going  to be late due to traffic. Being “in the moment” is the last thing on my mind.  But when I recalibrate my perspective…

  • I see construction projects where there would be a blur of noise and men in neon vests and jersey walls.  
  • I catch more than a glimpse of roadside flowers, struggling against the odds of concrete and strong winds and yet holding their own.
  • I take the time to look at other cars, admiring models, colors, and shapes that normally would be nothing more than competition on the road.  

As Jeff Goins notes in his new book, The In-Between:  “The slower times contain a wealth of wisdom for us to tap into, but only when we recognize them.”

UPS drivers make right turns more than 90 percent of the time

I’ve been looking at the UPS drivers on my route, and it’s true.  It saves them time and gas and is safer than attempting many left turns.  I think that preaches all by itself.  If we take the right (correct) turn at crucial intersections in life, we position ourselves to save time and energy and to ensure our protection.

Theodore Roosevelt is credited with saying: “In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing.”  He (and UPS) might be on to something!

Stay in your lane!

Ever been driving behind someone who’s obviously distracted and isn’t centered in the lane?  She might be veering more to one side of the road, and you find yourself doing the same.  I’ve had to learn to genuinely stay in my lane, which is how I ought to be driving.  And living.  The fact that people are ahead of me on the road (of life) doesn’t automatically make them a leader; i.e. someone whose behavior I should follow.  That’s just their current position.  I need to be clear in my mind as to what my position is, and maintain it.  

Do the right thing

Few things are more aggravating than having to drive behind someone who slows you to the right speed.  Everyone else is doing 65 miles per hour on the 55 mph highway, and here’s bruh-bruh being a Dudley Do-Right, clocking in at 55 mph when you have places to go and things to see!  I’m like:  Really, son?  

But, guess what?  Son is operating the way I ought to be.  The fact that everyone else is doing 65 mph doesn’t mean I should be.  So, don’t be getting salty with bruh-bruh in your mind because he’s doing the right thing.  He just might be the Holy Spirit’s prod to get your act together!

 What lessons are you learning on the road?  Have you been applying them to other aspects of your life?


  1. OMG Love the ups and right turn that right there hit the spot. Patience when driving is key I have learned that if you plan ahead and early you have time to correct your mistakes.
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  2. I love your parallels between driving and life, Alison. I have learned that complaining is not productive. Whining about traffic does not make it move faster; it just aggravates me even more. Deep breaths and trying to stay calm are much better approaches. I think that applies to life too!
    Dana recently posted..I really do try to do it myselfMy Profile

  3. That is so amazing about UPS drivers. Now I have to follow one and see!
    I agree about taking the time to stay calm and enjoy scenery. I don’t mind going slow, but I don’t do it in the left lane. It does upset me when people are slow in the left lane – passing lane. I’m almost getting annoyed thinking about it, which is obviously not the message you’re sending!
    Your message is wonderful.
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  4. This post confirms that you spend a lot of time in traffic! I am no fan of traffic but living in California means living in traffic. Atlanta traffic is also a beast! I’m always in a rush…
    Andrea recently posted..Be the Boss: Britni DanielleMy Profile

  5. Didn’t know that about the UPS guys. Love the analogy. Last week I was behind a guy on a moped. He was driving in a way that I could pass him but it was dark and rainy and I asked myself, “What’s the rush?” When I am feeling impatient in general I sometimes asked myself that question. I like to get things done but everything doesn’t have to be done on fast forward.
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  6. Loved this post…so many wonderful parallels! We are so busy that we don’t stop to enjoy the moment that we are in…and I am very guilty of this. I need to take this to heart more often. Thank you!
    Michelle recently posted..Celebrating the Little Things in Life {Ladies Only Blog Share Link Party}My Profile

  7. This is so true: “The fact that people are ahead of me on the road (of life) doesn’t automatically make them a leader”

    Have you seen Preachers of LA? I have some things I could say about that! LOL not judging. I just think the scene that went down with Clarence McClendon was something. He was very condescending
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  8. Girl I refuse to watch that hot mess. And yes, I AM judging. Why on earth do they have to put their mess out there? As if the church needs more bad PR… SMH. All of them on that show need a tall glass of “sit the heck down!”. I’ll take my seat now.
    Alison recently posted..More wisdom from the road well travelledMy Profile

  9. Love this post, and the the UPS thing is so spot on. I’ve noticed that they do that too, and it does save them gas and time. I need to keep these in mind when I’m traveling.
    KalleyC recently posted..The Tell {Almost} All ExposéMy Profile

  10. Thanks, Kalley. Right turns pay dividends, on the road and throughout life. If only we could all keep that in mind constantly!
    Alison recently posted..More wisdom from the road well travelledMy Profile

  11. I have no idea what that type of traffic is like…although I did grow up around the L.A. (California) area when I was too young to drive…it didn’t really affect me much. I live in a small-ish town with only 34,000 people and the traffic there can sometimes stress me out…lol. I too find that slowing down and really seeing the world around me is so helpful and can be so much more rewarding. I’m a runner so I often find myself in awe of God’s handiwork, when I take the time to notice that is. Blessings. Found you via Wanda @ The Watered Soul…have a great weekend
    Shannon recently posted..Inspiration For TodayMy Profile

    • Hi Shannon! I hear that LA traffic is a bear too! Believe me, I’m from an island of 34,000 people, and traffic down there can be quite hellish sometimes, so I definitely hear you on that count. Taking the time to notice God’s handiwork all around me has slowly seeped into my consciousness. I’ve really had to be intentional about not letting the craziness, be it traffic or work or whatever else, rob me of the opportunity to revel in the creativity of the Creator. I’m a work in progress!

  12. So many lessons we can glean just for our every day living. Love the lessons you shared with us Alison. This sentence really speaks to me, “The fact that people are ahead of me on the road (of life) doesn’t automatically make them a leader; i.e. someone whose behavior I should follow. That’s just their current position” How many times do we find ourselves following someone because they appear to be ahead of us. Have a great weekend!
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  13. I love all of the wisdom and truth you packed into this post, Alison! “Only when we’re stuck can we see the things we normally breeze past” I think I just love that. –Lisa
    The Dose of Reality recently posted..Pinterest Nightmare #281: The Therapeutic Fire FacialMy Profile

  14. Ouch, you stepped on my toes 🙂 I love the tidbit about the UPS drivers. This was a VERY well thought out post, Thank you for the wisdom. That open road picture is spectacular.

  15. Love your perspective Alison! I always say God is a comedian! 🙂 Sometimes He has to slow us down(for our own good), just to get us to see life from His perspective! The UPS tid-bit was interesting! Come to think of it, that makes sense, seeing as if they have no doors on the right! Safety first! 🙂
    Michell recently posted..“Michell’s Weekly Pearl”My Profile

  16. I enjoyed this Alison. Loved the book by Jeff Goins!! Btw…I will be making a trip to DC in early 2014. Would love to meet you. Hope you are doing well.
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  17. This is such an awesome post! I would have to say in learning about people and how I should see them more and more. It makes me so much more understanding to how they operate and react to things the way they do. I love all of your metaphors in this post. It definitely is a wonderful reminder 🙂
    Brittnei recently posted..People Will Be PeopleMy Profile

    • We’re beneficiaries of God’s grace, wisdom, and understand as we deal with others, Brittnei. We recognize the grace He’s shown us, and we extend it to others, paying it forward. We learn many a lesson on this journey!

  18. Preach on, Alison! Good post. Since I drove full speed ahead last week and finished writing my book, I am making more right turns these days. 🙂 You are so right about people ahead of you in life that aren’t always leaders.
    Kimberly H. Smith recently posted..Red Fish Grill: Best Seafood Restaurant on Bourbon StreetMy Profile

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