Panic Attack at the Dump


The road I drive down to get to our town’s “Recycling Center” is bumpy and has potholes galore. There are a few sketchy turns that I have to be very careful of during the winter months when that awful black ice can be hiding.  (I haven’t taken out any trash cans lately, though, Ahab.) Whenever I make the turn to head down this street, I see that grooved pavement coming up and know that it will provide a little extra grace for my tires.

Although I know the road well, I should be alert when I’m winding my way down it. While I’m aware that if I take one of those curves too quickly, I could easily find myself kissing the trees just past the ditches along each side of the road, I sometimes zone out as I’m driving along.

As I made the turn onto this road the other day, I instantly noticed something different.  It took a few moments for it to register, though.

The road had been re-paved. It was all smooth black asphalt.

That should be a good thing.

I was horrified.

The first thought that came to mind, was that the road would be an unknown this winter.  The questions started whirling in my brain. Would it be more icy than usual? Would the snow be extra slippery instead of fitting neatly into the grooves and providing a little extra room for slipping and sliding? Would other people have taken notice of the newly paved road and be driving more cautiously? What if they didn’t?  Or weren’t?

And before I knew it, I’d worked myself up into a full-blown panic attack at the thought of visiting the dump in the winter.


I remembered The Message version of this verse: “So let’s not sleepwalk through life like those others. Let’s keep our eyes open and be smart.”  (1 Thessalonians 5:6)

Traveling that road is a lot like life. Often, I know what to expect. But, I also know that there are unforeseeable dangers. Experience has taught me that there will even be some potholes that threaten to take the wheels right off! I must be alert and aware. 

Not scared, though.

We are not called to do life, scared.

We are called to be smart.

So, I’ll drive a little slower, and maybe even a little slower still, for those who may just be discovering that the road has been paved. And I’ll say a prayer of thanks to God for making all things new.