The Long Way Around

My random surveillance testing for COVID-19 on Penn State’s campus meant I traveled to an even more random location to take my COVID test today. When you teach in person, you take random asymptomatic COVID tests to keep everyone safe on campus. So my turn came again today. And Penn State sends you to your testing location which seems to change every time I turn around.

I’m driving to a business Penn State converted into an asymptomatic testing site, but I soon discover I cannot turn into the parking lot from the direction I was headed. I had to drive past, make a long loop, and turn left and left again, then right, and then right again to make it to the parking lot entrance.

I’m amazed how long it sometimes takes to get going in the right direction. If someone would have seen me drive past where I was supposed to be, it would look all wrong. I’d have to yell out my window, “Don’t worry! I’m righting myself! I’m finding my way!”

I arrive to my location and think about all the ways we correct our course in life until we find our right direction. Lesson One: Be patient with yourself and others as they make turns to find their right direction.

But then, as I’m taking my nasal COVID test and having random thoughts, I remembered the time my husband and I drove behind what seemed like a drunk driver. The driver would swerve dangerously close to the guardrail, and my husband would honk! honk! honk! to either wake the driver up or at least alert him. Several times we honked and honked until finally the driver pulled off the highway.

Sometimes, the Holy Spirit is like that honk to alert us we are in no condition to go where we think we’re going. Lesson Two: Maybe we need to get off the road and rest until we know for sure we can go where we want to go

But mostly, we often find our entrance blocked by that same good Spirit so we have to go the long way ’round to get in the right direction. That’s OK. Things take time in life.

And those are my driving lessons for today.


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