The message dangled from my cup of tea like a tiny red flag. Sometimes the silent messages are the loudest.
Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.
The thrum of duty. The pulse of productivity. The insatiable to-do list.
Worry has always been my sin of choice, but maybe these days hurry has collided with it. I don’t want to admit that underneath hurryworry is something grotesque, a four-letter word no one wants: FEAR.
I know I’m not alone in my bent, but I wanted to hear it again anyway, so I asked a friend.
“No, I wouldn’t say I’m a worrier,” she said.
From the way she furrowed her brow and scrunched her lips to one side at my question, I knew she was telling the truth. But then she wrestles something else I’d rather not.
As usual, the beautiful Book nails it, though, proving I’ve had company in my struggles only for forever. And it repeats the message often enough, because God knows we need the reminder: Do not fear.
Ricka passed her driver’s test a few weeks ago. Satisfaction lit up her features before she left the house for her first drive alone.
“Think of other drivers. They’re not always the smartest,” I said. “But you do the right thing anyway, okay?”
“I know, Mom,” she said.
“Keep a safe following distance. Don’t forget your signal. And those pedestrians…” I shook my head. “You’ve got over four-thousand pounds of power on your side, and you could take one out like that.”
“I know, Mom.”
“I love you,” I said, because it would be the last time—I was sure of it.
I watched her leave through the front door, my insides jumbled. Frames of Mechanized Death, a movie meant to scare us driver’s ed students in the 1980s, flicked through my brain and convinced me my kid would be a mangled corpse within minutes. I wanted to trust, but the fear was as hard to shake off as my own name.
I hurried to text her to see if she was still alive: Please don’t read this text while you’re driving, though.
Soon, she texted back: I’m here and alive and so is everyone else who was on the road.
I breathed again.
My yellow mums out front spill happiness into their gray surroundings, reminding me of the message on my tea bag. It’s November now and the temps have dipped low enough to quash their exuberance, but here they still are. They don’t look worried—or hurried—about their future, even though what I see coming for them is bleak.
Maybe I can’t will away my fears. But I can breathe when my girl drives the car alone, and I can try to slow down like the mums. And since I don’t have anywhere else to go, I grab onto Love, the opposite of fear and the best antidote for my hurryworries.
There is no fear in love; but perfect Love casts out fear.
*Miss an installment of the blog? Or want to catch the story from the beginning? Visit http://www.tamarajorell.com/blog-entries-by-date
*Names in this blog have been changed to protect my family, neighbors, and friends in the neighborhood, and in a nod of appreciation to the beloved Swedish author Maj Lindman, I’ve renamed my three blondies Flicka, Ricka, and Dicka.