I like to travel in the fast lane.
But nowadays, it’s not that easy. Diamond lanes are for buses and cars filled to the brim.
Admittedly, my eyes linger longingly on vans carrying carloads of kids whizzing past me in standstill traffic. But then, I reflect on memories of stale french fries, “sippy” cups and soggy diapers strewn about. I cheerfully hunker down in the quiet of my sports car.
Even so, when the grandkids and I took a road trip after their recent visit — in my car now littered with Happy Meals’ residue — I figured we’d take advantage of the restricted freeway lane. It’s the one that requires at least two passengers in each vehicle.
I also figured the 5-year old twins could learn a lesson from their grandma.
“See that big sign up high with the number 2” I asked Hailey and Hunter, who were sitting in the backseat of my car.
“Yes!” they chorused enthusiastically while we flew down the highway.
This was wonderful, I thought to myself as we rounded a curve. I have a captivated — or at least captured — audience.
As I dunked a french fry in ketchup, I proceeded to explain the rule about traveling in this special lane: You have to have someone else along with you.
“Now, with you two in the back and Grandma in the driver’s seat, how many people are in our car?” I questioned in my teacher voice. “Two plus one equals how many?”
There was silence for a moment while they counted fingers and agreed that the answer was three. Cheering and giggles filled the car as we raced ahead.
But then there came a question for me.
“Grandma Lucy!” Hailey called out from her booster seat, “Actually, there are four, right?”
I glanced in the rear view mirror, “No, no. You had it right the first time.”
Hailey and Hunter’s heads came together in conference.
“But Grandma, Jesus is here in the car with us so that makes four,” Hailey reminded me.
“Yes!” Hunter shouted. “There’s me, Hailey, Grandma Lucy and Jesus!”
Oh my. How could I have forgotten? Their words rang so true.
When I’m hurriedly traveling life’s highway — its ups and downs and occasional curves — Jesus is always with me.
The Good Book tells me so.
But it took a child to help me remember that lesson I learned so long ago: I’m never on this road alone.