Turn Indicator, an Arm out the Window, or just an Outright SWERVE?

img_0364The name of this blog is, “Life in the Fast a Lane.” It started out as a joke between my wife and I, due to my advanced age (so she says) and my propensity to not need to drive like Mario Andretti anymore (you know, fast).

On the other hand, whatever car he is driving these days would look great in my driveway…

Life in a lane refers to the place we are in a culture, a job, a season of life, a (fill in the blank). The dilemma arises when we are either not in the “lane” we want to be in, or have experienced a traumatic life change that puts us outside of where we thought we would be.

For example, I was a vocational pastor for 35 years. I loved being a pastor. Due to a strong sense that the church we were leading needed change, I went from preaching messages every week to doing sales in the Bakken Oilfield.

Talk about changing lanes…a classic swerve if there ever was one.

Making changes at the church I was leading would have been like sticking an arm out of the window. It’s nothing fancy or necessarily formal, it’s just time for a change and we’re making it. Everyone in the organization, in this case a church, can even identify whose arm is sticking out of the window, leading change.

Think now about the use of a turn indicator. Now that one is a little different. The use of a turn indicator is more universal than just sticking an arm out. People in front or behind you are not wondering if you have a light out, or just like feeling a breeze reaching up into your armpit. They recognize your formal indication that you are making a lane change. In the church setting it means I’ve just moved to another congregation.

I have a friend who made a great deal of money in the oilfield. During the recent downturn he was laid off, like so many thousands of others. He has gone into interviews in different fields of work (that’s right, a swerve), only to be asked, “How much did you make in your previous job?” When he tells them the princely sum, he is immediately rejected by Human Resources as it is presumed there is no way he could ever be happy with the comparably pittance of pay he would receive in his new position. My friend knows he won’t make the same money he did before. He equates it to winning the workforce lottery, working a job that only lasted a season before a reality he understood would bring him back down to earth. Time for a swerve. Time to find a different form of happiness and joy.

When changing lanes, whether it be with a turn indicator, arm out the window or a swerve, decide whether it is money or happiness that you need in your life. Sometimes it’s both.

But don’t confuse the two…

Do you need to change lanes? What kind of lane change do you need to make? What would make you happier in the lane you are in right now? Can you stay in the lane you are in a be fulfilled? What are you willing to do to pursue your dreams, or are you living your dream right now?