My best friend and I used to be maniacs when it came to driving back home. Neither of us had cars that were lighting fast, but we sure thought they were. How could you not when one of us had a S10 Pickup and the other had a Ford Bronco II!? I mean, those are the definition of speed and handling in my book.
Regardless of what we were driving, there was no question that how we were driving was a little nutty. We had an itch for that feeling in the pit of your stomach when you're on the borderline of flipping your car as you tuck around the corners of the winding roads we lived on. Looking back we put ourselves and others in some serious danger by our road antics, but at the time we didn't think about that stuff.
Advance a few chapters in life to the present day and things are different.
Adding Aniston into the equation of life has made many things change for me including how I drive. I'm sure all of us can remember driving home from the hospital for the first time with our new born baby and honestly feeling like you were driving your car in an episode of Star Wars with how fast the cars seemed to pass you by. You'd lay on your horn and yell "slow down psycho!" as you literally travel slow enough that an old lady walking backwards could pass you.
But it's not just that trip that slows your driving roll. You are forever more aware of stop signs, red lights, yellow lights, and school zones than you ever were before. Looking both ways is not good enough when entering and intersection. No, now you ask your wife to confirm that it is safe to drive through and you don't even mind the double check!
For heaven's sake, I even use cruise control in town so I don't accidently go Dale Earnhardt Jr. on someone that cuts me off.
I've changed the way that I drive because there is something greater at stake than me now. I've slowed down because I want to enjoy the moments I have with Aniston even if it means getting somewhere 7 seconds slower. I don't think any parents would argue this to a man, but would our actions match our words?
Allow me to carry this analogy beyond the roadways. Parents or those who desire to be parents one day, how has/will your life slow down for your family?
- Dads, do our kids know how much we love them all the time or is it only when Fantasy Football isn't in season?
- Moms, is your anxiety about how they are dressed, what kids will think, if they'll skin their knees, or how they feel after that girl broke his heart keeping your from enjoying the brief time you have them?
- Parents, has the pursuit of "giving them more than you had" come at the cost of giving them less of us physically, emotionally and spiritually?
I really hope that when I utter the phrase "wow, she grew up fast!" I'll be able to quickly pull up tons of memories with Aniston. But I know some of you will struggle to remember even a few because you will have lived life never slowing down long enough to make any.
I pray that today you are able to pull back the zoom lens of life to 30,000 feet and see what your life really looks like. Then take the bold step of slowing down. Not in a lazy, playing video games all day kind of slowing down, but in a getting rid of the unnecessary, self-induced, frantic pace of life kind of way.
You'd be surprised what you will see when life isn't a blur in your rearview mirror.