In Alaska, they say that if you’re not the lead sled dog, the view’s always the same. Commuters often feel that way, too. My trip to and from work in downtown DC is 90 minutes each way. And the view’s always the same.
So how do I use the time? Some of it’s spent daydreaming or planning imaginary conversations. I’m on the lookout for clever license plates and bumper stickers – I want to jump out of my car and introduce myself to the owner of a plate that reads “S-THETIC” — I wonder whether someone whose plate reads “H8URPL8” is funny or spiteful or both. At stop lights, I dry my hair by the dashboard vents.
The best part of my commute is the time I spend praying. I pray to be reminded that someone else is in charge of this day, that I am loved and guided by divine providence at every moment, and that every person I come in contact with today is a gift. Even the lady in front of me applying mascara in her rear view.
Although the parade of brake lights in stalled traffic is always the same, we have more choices about what we “see” than a sled dog has. Driving provides the time to check in with God and connect with his love, out of which all virtue is born. Looking up can change our perspective completely.