Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Panic Button

Befuzzled as usual in a mall parking lot, I was wandering around in search of my car. I decided to take my daughter’s advice and press the panic button on my car key. I used to be embarrassed to do this. But according to several people I’ve talked to, pressing the panic button is now considered a common and necessary practice for anyone lost in a parking lot. So, with the key in my hand, I held up my arm and pushed that red button. A small red car two rows over to my right immediately lit up and began honking. (Yes, the astounding fact here is that I was only off by two rows!)
I once heard someone say she wished life had an Easy Button (like the Staples commercials). But a panic button definitely would be a better fit for me. For me, two things are clear: 1. I don’t expect life to be easy. 2. I do expect to have panic attacks. According to most dictionaries, panic means “overwhelming fear.” The fear can be with or without cause. However, I’m not sure anyone would admit to a panic without cause.
I was thinking about this recently while sitting in a doctor’s office waiting for test results. Fifteen minutes seems like 15 days when you’re wearing a flimsy backless gown, sitting on that hard table (it’s NOT a “bed”) and wishing you were somewhere else – like sitting on a beach in the Caribbean.
And recently when my teen-aged driver forgot to text me that he’d made it to his destination. And then didn’t answer his phone.
And a few days ago when a car exploded in the driveway of my neighbor’s house. (Um, yep!)
And last week when I couldn’t find my purse.
And a couple of weeks ago when I slammed on the brakes of my car within a foot of hitting a full-grown deer.
And the month when the bottom line of the bills was higher than the bottom line of the bank account.
And every day that the future seems so uncertain.
A devotional I read last week emphasized the importance of saying, in all situations, “I trust you, God.” This simple, yet difficult concept means giving up control; it means admitting that you can’t find the way on your own. More of us need to consider it a common and necessary practice to press God’s panic button.
I know my key’s panic button can’t fix the part of my brain that regularly forgets where the car is parked or can’t navigate across town without the GPS. But it did lead the way to my car. After that, all I had to do was press the “go home” button on the GPS. :)

1 comment:

  1. Such a pleasure to read, wondering where you're going to lead with your narratives. Thanks!