Navigating the Learning Curves of Life Without Sliding into the Ditch
Make Your Life Matter No Matter What –
Navigating the Learning Curves of Life without Sliding into the Ditch
Put me on a plane, a boat, or a train, and I can promise you one thing: I’ll get motion sick. Following a trip or a car ride longer than a few hours, I’ve discovered Dramamine is my new best friend. I wasn’t always this way; perhaps it’s a lovely ailment that comes with age. Whatever the reason, it’s annoying. And if a car trip calls for curvy roads, extra prayer and pepto bismol become my faithful travel companions.
I’m finding I can sleep off motion sickness much quicker than I can recover from the learning curves of life. A new role in ministry has resulted in a year of twists and turns. Navigating unfamiliar landscapes and developing new organizational systems has, at times, left me emotionally and mentally motion sick. Each week seems to lead me down a new road with sharp learning curves. As much as I love serving people and providing ways that best minister to needs, I have struggled this year to drive the learning curves of life without sliding into the ditch. Some weeks I felt incompetent, which for a recovering perfectionist is a death sentence. Other weeks, I wondered if anything I did was making a difference. The enemy exploited my fear and insecurity at every turn. Things were never as bleak as I felt; but it seemed my white-knuckled hands were firmly glued to the steering wheel and my eyes were always frantically searching side and rear view mirrors – desperately trying to avoid the ditch.
Change can be hard; especially change that requires a hefty amount of adjustment. Maybe you can relate to the learning curves that come with change?
Change in a job or position and the unique demands that brings …
Change in address and the pull of strange surroundings …
Change in family dynamics – a new baby, an empty nest, or a season of singleness – each ask for a Master’s Degree in adjustment. As a friend dealing with empty nest recently said to me, “The sound of emptiness is loud.”
Change in your body due to health issues or age…maybe not being able to do what you used to do…can bring frustration and unwanted learning curves.
So how do we do it? How do we navigate the learning curves of life without sliding into the ditch???
This week, I was mulling over the learning curves of life, pondering how we handle curves on a road and how we might apply those principles to our everyday lives.
- Learning curves require us to slow down and pay closer attention to our surroundings.
- Learning curves might mean we need to ask for help or be okay without knowing what to do right away.
- Learning curves can wreak havoc if they’re not intentionally balanced with some stretches of flat road – familiar ground.
- Learning curves mean pulling over to take a break, finding spots for rest and personal Sabbath.
God interrupted me in the middle of my tumbling thoughts, and spoke these words clearly to my heart. I don’t often hear Him speak audibly, but I did today:
“You’re not the driver.”
Ouch. On life’s uncertain roads, filled with learning curves, I’m not the driver. In other words, Angela, get in the passenger seat. I’m in control of this ride, not you.
At first I felt chastised and a little anxious – after all, I even get MORE motion sick when I’m not driving. Not to mention you feel a lot more in control when you’re the one driving the car. And then I felt comforted. Reassured.
“I know it’s been a tough year. I know it’s difficult to navigate the learning curves of life without sliding into the ditch. But you’re not the one driving. Let Me lead; let Me navigate. I know when to brake…when to accelerate…when to pull over and when to stop. You can rest in that and trust Me to handle anything the road of life may bring. I’m not going to let you slide into the ditch. Trust Me.”
David: shepherd boy, songwriter, warrior and King, navigated a few learning curves of his own. He even slid into the ditch a couple of times, towed back out by God’s grace and mercy. His words in Psalm 25 remind me that life’s learning curves teach us to remain dependent on God.
 Show me your ways, Lord, teach me your paths.  Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.
Whatever stretch of road you’re navigating in this season in your life, find hope in the same words that strengthened my fragile heart today:
“You’re not the driver.”
Maybe this week, you need to move over and get in the passenger seat. Maybe you need to pull off at a rest stop or wait for clear directions from our Guide. Maybe a curve took you out and you need the mercy of God to pull you out of a ditch. Just like God promised David, He promises us: He will show us, guide us, and teach us.
If you want to “Make Your Life Matter No Matter What” when you’re navigating treacherous curves, keep your hope in Him. All. Day. Long.
This week, hand God the car keys to your life. I’m right there with you, friend. Wherever He leads us, I know He’s in control and it’s going to be an amazing ride.
Make Your Life Matter No Matter What
Leave me a comment! How has change impacted your life? In what way can you hand God the car keys to your life?