#FiveMinuteFriday: Park


 I’m joining #FiveMinuteFriday over at Kate Motaung’s place. The word prompt is PARK.  It is also Day 21 of #write31days with Christina Hubbard at Creative and Free. Below is five minutes of free flow writing. The forward slashes (//) indicate where the timer started and ended. Go!


jessica-clark-600x600//”Whatever you do, don’t hit anybody.” Uncle Marty’s nonchalant way of speaking made me even more nervous. What would happen if the brakes suddenly went out? We had a whole car of little cousins and my grandpa! We would never make it to the Dairy Queen if I hit anyone.

The highway from grandma’s house to Pleasanton, Texas was an almost thirty-minute drive. Pleasanton was the small town we liked to grab our ice cream. It was also a straight drive of nothing but country livin’, so the only danger was hitting a cow or copperhead snake at best.

“I don’t really want to do this.” At 14 I wanted to get out of everything. I had originally imagined opening the engine of my uncle’s black Jaguar to about 100 mph. I was going 50 and terrified. The speed limit was 70 mph. (These days it’s more like 75 or 80)

“Well, you’re never gonna learn if you don’t suck it up.” He crossed his arms across his chest and laughed in that deceptively creepy way that he always did. Now, that I’m older, those laughs make me laugh, but back then, they terrified me.

“Can someone else drive?”

“I can. But, that’s not the point.” My uncle was a no nonsense kinda guy. He and my grandfather would make sure we all learned to drive and master our driver’s ed course by the time it was the appropriate time to take it.

“Pull over. Park it.” My cousins all laughed. I was the oldest. I was the one they all looked up to. I should have been able to do it.

I pulled the car over and put it in park. What if I had hit a deer and flipped the car with everyone in it?//

This is how we go through life – terrified of what we don’t know. Terrified of hitting something that is not even in view. Terrified of the hypothetical.

And all God wants us to do is learn so that one day we can navigate our own. My uncle filled in when my earthly father couldn’t.

My earthly father passed away when I was 2 years old. Who else was going to teach me how to drive?

When I’m tempted to put my entire life in park, I think back to my 14-year old self. What can I learn from just putting the car in drive and trusting that a copperhead snake really won’t cross the road today?