, , , , , , , , , ,

Police car emergency lighting fixtures switche...

Bad Boys, Bad Boys, Whatcha Gonna Do?... Sorry... Image via Wikipedia

When I went to lunch today, there was a breaking news story about a police chase in Southern Florida. High speed chases amaze me, or I guess “fascinate” me would be a better word. I mean, the participants have to know there’s a slim chance of getting away, and even if they give the police the slip today, they’ll most likely be caught later.

What amazes me most is when the police call ahead and shut down the highway. There’s just one SUV being chased by a dozen police cars. These have got to be the best and worst driving conditions you could ever experience in life: nothing but open road before you, no little old ladies in Saturns in the fast lane or Old Marines in Lincolns clogging up the middle lanes. There are no Kamikaze mini-vans with Baby on Board stickers in the back window that drive like they are in the Daytona 500. The only real obstacles are the occasional spike strips or cruisers bent on T-Boning you (I believe they call it a PIT maneuver–random: is maneuver not the most difficult word to spell?). What better time to think about the choices you’ve made in life? Right?

Seriously, I wonder about the person in that fleeing car for a while while I munch my sandwich, then realize with a jolt it’s me. I’m that fool going a hundred miles an hour on an empty turnpike running away from the police. That is, that’s me, metaphorically speaking. This begs the question: What’s chasing me?

There are times in life when the way has been cleared for you and you’re on the road seemingly by yourself. There are no obstacles in front of you and you are in the driver’s seat. Maybe you know exactly where you’re going, maybe you’re operating on instinct and adrenaline; either way, you’re going as fast as you can. The only thing that can stop you from reaching this hazy place of safety in the distance looms large in your rearview mirror, trying to catch up to you and bring you down. No matter how you try to shake it, it always seems to be there, shadowing your every move, closing the gap between you and it. You’re so busy looking behind you in your rearview mirror for threats, you don’t see the spike strips that are being thrown out in your path.  

There are some situations, circumstances, or mindsets in life that are chasers. A major chaser is the past. There are things we want to forget and outrun now that we’ve changed, but we can’t seem to distance ourselves from those things. Our past is constantly chasing us down, threatening to spin our lives out of control. Maybe for you it’s depression, the fear of failure, or your own timeline for accomplishing things that has you on the run. Maybe you are running from your bad choices in men, your irresponsible ways with money, or a crippling addiction you were once swayed by.

Don’t you know that you rarely ever get away? Even if you do manage to shake it for a while, you will almost always get caught. The longer it takes for you to get caught, the longer you are looking over your shoulder, anxious and worried about being caught. The longer you run, the longer you’ll be looking behind you instead of in front of you. So what do you do?

You turn yourself in. You submit to the  judicial process. You confront your accuser. You state your case. And if you have to, you do your time.

Now, before you think I’m telling you to pick up a pipe or a “peeps” and fall back into old habits, STOP RIGHT THERE. I don’t mean surrender to what’s chasing you. I mean go through the system and win your freedom. Because you only think you’re running from the bad, but you’re also running from your solution. If you won’t acknowledge you’re addicted, you can’t get rehabilitated. If you don’t acknowledge you’re depressed, you can’t get treated. If you don’t acknowledge that you’re afraid to trust anyone, you can’t learn how to begin to tell the trustworthy from the untrustworthy.

Maybe that means you have to go to jail–you know, that place when you have nothing to do but spend time with yourself and work on yourself. It’s not fun, but it can be the past thing that ever happened to you. I’ve seen people go to jail and start to educate themselves through the prison library, or start taking care of their bodies through exercise. People really confront themselves and the things that have been chasing them.

Rearview mirrors are by nature distorted; you can’t see the whole picture, and nothing is as far removed from you as it appears. You need to stop limiting your view of what’s behind you, as well as start looking in front of you.

Now, some of y’all out there can’t relate to this because you’re doing the chasing…but that’s for another post.