In an old pick up truck sat an elderly man and his wife chugging slowly down the road. Although the speed limit was 45, the old man kept a steady 35. They had been driving this road for years before the fancy speed limits had been installed and it just felt like the best speed for getting down the road and seeing the familiar scenery.
Every now and then another vehicle would pass them seeming to always be in a hurry. The crinkled eyes of the wife peered out her side window looking at all the changes that happens when years and seasons pass by. The pasture that used to burst with calves playing around their slow moving mothers was a new supermarket and although she was intrigued by this bustling place, she missed seeing the calves. Everything changes.
Still plodding down the road, another truck began moving past them and afforded her a look for just a moment of the young couple inside. A young man with his arm carelessly thrown around the smiling woman sitting beside him. She was looking at the young man and laughing with wild abandon at something he must have said. He quickly took his eyes off the road to place a peck on her forehead and they continued on past the old woman’s sight.
The old woman turned her eyes to her husband. A small spark in her eyes, she asked “did you see them?” The old man grunted a little in acknowledgement and continued the task of keeping the wheel steady.
She started again, “Everything changes. Do you remember when we used to sit like that? You couldn’t keep your hands off me and we laughed so much down this road. I wish we could be like that again…” she trailed off looking at this old man that was her young love.
15 minutes passed before anyone spoke and it was the careful words of the old man. “Sweetheart, all this time I have been behind the wheel getting us from place to place.” He patted the empty space between them and said, “Everything might change, but I’ve never moved all this time. You’ve been so busy watching our world change, that you’ve forgotten what has never changed.”
This is one of my favorite stories* that I think of when I think about a broken faith or the feeling that we aren’t close to God anymore.
Early in our love we were sitting close. He couldn’t keep his adoration from us and our focus was solely on that relationship. Then things started changing and our eyes drifted with our hearts and bodies not far behind. Then there is a big empty space there between us.
When we start wondering about the distance we see between us, maybe we should consider who moved? Have we been so busy trying to keep up with all the change around us that we forgot Who never changes?
*story is adapted from one I heard in my youth.
Categories: june 2013 diary entry