A drive or a journey…

So what do you call your travel to and from work each day? Commute…Travel…Drive…Madness…Stressful?

I use to consider mine a “commute”. I’d drive ten minutes out of my way to catch the expressway for the 36 minute drive in. It was easy, I could put the cruise on 70 and coast to work, saying the morning prayers along the way. It became routine, humdrum, monotonous, tedious…boring. I was looking at concrete and watching mile markers tick away.

Then came January 1st.  In Illinois that meant the tollways almost doubled and I vowed to put my money in my tank and not in the tollways system.

So onto the direct route. Stop and go for 160 blocks. But I was determined to make the best of it and what I discovered surprised me!

I did not want to handle the madness on LaGrange Road filled with busy shopping centers and towns, so I opted for Wolf Road and Willow Springs Road. I know what you are thinking…that way is single lane all the way!

But what I discovered was sheer peace.
First – it only took me on average 5 minutes longer (fewer miles but slower traffic)
Second – the traffic was not as bad as i thought and I liked that I wasn’t having to drive 70 to keep up with traffic

But most importantly is what I noticed.

Driving through Mokena’s quaintness each morning. Flags in front yard, stopping guards and children, churches welcoming signs, flowers beginning to bloom. The slower pace was a welcome addition to my morning.

My prayers were less rushed because I was less rushed. I took time with the Lord and was much more thankful for situations around me.

In the 160 block, I pass eight churches! I love being reminded of the importance of God in my life every few blocks.

Then after a short pass through the outskirts of Orland, I head into the Cook County Forest Preserves and the beauty of peace begins.

Traveling for miles and miles of nothing but lakes, trees, forest…green surrounding me, engulfing tree branches over the road, God’s design for our pleasure. Ducks lazily floating in the water, bikers and jogger enjoying the paths of nature, the warmth of the sun filtering between the trees into my sunroof, the deers grazing by the golf course.

I notice the greatness around me.
I bask in the beauty of creation as I reflect on my day.
I pray for those in need and my family’s needs.
I begin each day in peace.

My drive has been transformed from a commute to a journey, my thoughts are filled with positive energy and love. I never am bothered with a slow driver, because it just means I get to see something I might not have seen otherwise.

May you experience a beautiful, creative palette of splendour as you drive to work…and may it forever wonderfully affect your attitude!

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Categories: Balance, Create, God | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “A drive or a journey…

  1. Jerry Moran

    Janet,
    I recently joined linkedIn. I added to my profile my role as committee chairman (outreach) for SJC. The next day your post (blog) showed up. I enjoyed your reflection. I have always had long commutes to work. Unfortunately it’s difficult for me to avoid the concrete expressways. But whenever I travel south (Lincoln-Way HS is one of our clients) I travel down Willow Springs Road. It’s one of my favorite routes as well. My recent spiritual path (introduced to me by Marianne F) has included Richard Rohr and the second half of life. One of the gifts of the second half of life is to see God everywhere and in all things (like the route down Willow Springs Road). Looking forward to seeing you at the next Pastoral Staff Meeting (Our Committee is Presenting). Peace.

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