It iced last night. I’m not sure if that is the correct term for it, but it sure seems to fit. This morning we woke to a world coated with crystal. It was beautiful, still, and quiet. I thought it was just lovely until I recalled that the beautiful ice on my trees and lawn would mean an impassable driveway.
The condition of my driveway would not normally be a concern early in the morning on a day such as this, many things closed or canceled and my husband working from home, but with dread, I realized I had yet to put our mail in the mailbox. Bills needed to get out and since my mail carrier would be not be stopped by “rain nor snow nor sleet…” I needed to get to my mailbox.
Now let me attempt to paint the picture for you.
First, the terrain: Our driveway is approximately 75 ft. of gently sloping asphalt…upward sloping. It is flanked on either side by swaths of yard, which eventually narrow to foot wide grassy sections separating the driveway from significant ledges. It was at this time completely sealed by a quarter inch of ice.
Second, the attire: Having been up only a few hours and lingering over a second cup of coffee, I was still in my PJs. My hair had yet to meet a brush, which means it was plastered on one side of my head and reaching to the sky on the other. After poking my bare feet into the nearest pair of boots in the hall closet, I topped off my ensemble with an oversized Pea coat.
Third, the plan: Yes, I actually had a plan. I decided I could get traction in the crunchy, crusty grass along the driveway. I would avoid the slippery surface of the driveway for as much as possible. I even determined I would take the longer way around the side of the house and use the garbage can as a safe anchor if needed. AND, just in case, I told my husband to be sure to check on me in case it did not go as planned.
So, there you have it. That is how a 1 minute walk to the mailbox turned into a 20 minute lesson in control, or lack of it.
After painstakingly making it all the way to my destination, and chiseling open the mailbox, I began the homeward decent. Feeling a tad brave due to my success, I ventured onto the driveway for my return trip. Slowly I began to slide like butter on a hot griddle. I managed to keep my head above my feet and not fall, I am sure purely out of fear that IF I did fall, 911 would need to be called and I was NOT going to be seen looking like I did lying flat on my backside. As I perfected my slow motion slide into home one thing was infinitely clear…I was out of control. It became apparent my only part in my safe return to the front porch would be to keep my head over my feet no matter where they lead me.
Once safe and warm within my house I assessed a few things. First, my husband was enjoying his cup of coffee not even remotely aware of my perilous adventure. Had I fallen, apparently my worries of being found by 911 responders were without merit. Second, and most important, I realized how often my life is like my mailbox journey.
How often do I set out to accomplish something out of my own ability? I will map out a path, plan and prepare for the journey. I may even try to attire myself for the task. Ultimately, it is God who controls our steps. My job is to keep my head over my feet no matter where He leads.
“Even there shall Thy hand lead me, and Thy right hand shall hold me” Psalm 139:10