The other day, I was driving along on an interstate highway here in Massachusetts, going with the flow of traffic in the middle lane. It was around rush hour, so we were going pretty much bumper to bumper in fits and starts. The vehicle in front of me was a huge pickup truck, with two nice dirt bikes loaded in the back.
At one point, the driver must have noticed that the left land traffic was moving a lot better for him, so he kicked out of the middle lane and took off into the left lane and disappeared. Well, I tend to daydream a bit in traffic like that when I’m not dancing in my car, and I forgot all about it, until later on in a curve, I could see far up ahead and noticed that same truck waaay up ahead, back in the middle lane again. It looked like his ambition paid off, and I thought for a bit that maybe I was falling behind.
A little while later, I was daydreaming again, still going along steadily in the middle lane, and as it turned out, it seemed to be our lane’s turn to be speeding ahead of the other lanes. As we were moving along, I just happened to notice that I was passingby that same large truck, now in the left lane again, stopped with the rest of the left-laners. I laughed to myself – how could I be going ahead of this guy, he was so far up ahead a while ago? And I thought, all the lane swtiching and ambition trying to get ahead, and I’m just going along with the flow in the same lane, goofing around, and at the end of it all, I’m ahead. I got off the next exit, and I thought, I’m glad I just stuck to the one lane and went with the flow and didn’t get all stressed out trying to get ahead.
And I thought, you know, life is just like that. If you’re trying to get ahead, you’ll just end up far behind.
We can feel an urgency to get ahead in life, to get to a destination, to get something done, to get something into our possession. But, the more we let our ambition get control of us, the worse off it gets. It ends up worse than if we just never worried and enjoyed the journey – even daydreamed and sang and danced and goofed around along the way.
Because if you’re trying to get ahead, you’ll just end up far behind.
“Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” (Mt 23:12)