“Stay in your lane. Lane shifts.” The first time I read this sign, I was driving to San Antonio on I-35 in the summer of 2010. The flashing sign was hard to miss as it warned drivers at hundreds of yards away from the actual lane shift. I chuckled to myself because I thought it was obvious that the lane was changing. There were obvious signs of construction like orange barrels and equipment.
However, when I came upon the actual shift in the road, I found myself surprised by the sharpness of the change. As a result, I immediately slowed down and gripped tighter on the car’s steering wheel. Even though I made these adjustments, I still found myself struggling to stay in my lane. For a few moments, I was fearful that I’d get out of my lane and hit the concrete construction wall. Things changed once I shifted my focus to staying in the lane and not the change that was happening in the lane.
Later that year, I was driving back from a visit to my parent’s house over the Christmas holidays and passed the same lane shifts warning signs, I thought about how I handled some shifts that had happened in that year. Some shifts, like physical changes, were easier to handle than others because I’d been pre-warned. My mother had warned me and my 3 sisters that after we turned 40 years old, our bodies would drop and spread. That was probably the best piece of motherly advice she gave us!
Even though I saw some shifts coming, I still had to make a conscious effort to “stay in my lane.” How did I do that? I took my eyes off the shift and focused on the road that God had me on. Fear sometimes made it difficult, but I made an effort to spend more time in prayer, praise and worship. I had to learn that praying to God doesn’t guarantee that you will not have to go through the shift. However, praying to Him will ensure that you develop the trust and assurance to know that whatever happens, you will be able to endure. The bible says in Proverbs 3:5-7 that we should “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” The focus will be straight on Him and His promises.
We waste precious time worrying about the changes that might come. Psalms 119-105 reminds us that God’s word will light our path. Study God’s word if you ever find yourself trying to control the changes in your life. God allows change and our job is to trust Him through the change. Many of us trust Him just enough for Him to do whatever WE want Him to do. It’s a whole other level of faith to stay in your lane and allow God’s sovereign will to direct our lives.
Shewanda Riley is a Fort Worth, Texas based author of “Love Hangover: Moving from Pain to Purpose After a Relationship Ends” and “Writing to the Beat of God’s Heart: A Book of Prayers for Writers.” Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @shewanda.