“What on earth are you doing?” my dad asked from the passenger seat. “Did you have your cruise control set just now?”
I sheepishly shrugged and admitted that I had. The clicking sound the brake pedal made when you pushed it to disengage the cruise control had given me away. Sneaky little tattletale!
“I like to set it so that I don’t have to think about my speed.” I explained. I was a college student and able to present a reasonable persuasive argument while home on break with my family.
My dad shook his head. “Cruise control is for long trips or stretches of highway where you will be keeping the same speed for awhile, not for use between two traffic lights a few hundred yards apart!”
Now it was my turn to shake my head. I wasn’t necessarily disagreeing with him, I was just expressing myself through nonverbal communication because I had nothing to actually say in my defense.
I admit, using the cruise control for less than 10 seconds was pretty ridiculous.
Now as a college graduate, wife, and mother of three, I seem to have the opposite problem. I don’t like giving up control of my speed. And I’m not referring to my minivan driving habits.
I’m talking about the speed of my life.
I get going pretty quickly now-a-days. Our schedule is full and we fly down monthly stretches of highways. Sometimes I lose track of how fast we’re moving until we pay for it later in exhaustion, tension, and grumpy children.
Perhaps a little cruise control would be healthy for us all?
If only I’d give up control of the accelerator more often. If only I’d learn to set the cruise control between birthday parties, school events, service projects, basketball practices, and church gatherings. If only I’d do better at keeping our family at a healthy speed between the stops instead of flying through life without much intentionality or careful assessments.
Checking our speed is important. It keeps us safe and gets us there in one piece. Let alone in peace itself.
But I’m learning.
I’m learning that cruise control helps you set limits on your speed.
It may be overkill to set it between two close-together traffic lights, but being careful to control the pace of your life, especially with young ones in tow, isn’t a bad idea after all.
If only I’d thought of that comeback while in the drivers seat years ago!
This post is part of the Five Minute Friday community where bloggers are encouraged to write for about 5 minutes about a topic based on a one-word prompt. This week’s word: CONTROL