Every morning I leave the house at O’Dark thirty, to drive the 50 or so miles to my place of employment. (Yep, I’m crazy). As I start out I ask the Good Lord to be my co-pilot and if He can’t ride with me that day (or if he’s afraid to), to send a very wise and strong angel.
Mighty Mite, my faithful Corolla companion, and I skillfully navigate through forests of striped road markers with their little flashing top-lights interspersed with rectangular directives – STAY LEFT – STAY RIGHT – LANE ENDS or TURN ONLY. We know we’ve got to be quite sharp at that time of day to safely get through the ever-growing maze of winding roads decorated with countless Highway Flowers, all the while staying clear of the Ford pickup trucks towing trailers loaded with car-killing buckets, wood, pipes or ladders, also known as road debris, should it fall off somehow. It’s no picnic to get into a turn-only lane heading in the wrong direction.
Sometimes we find some real inspirational speakers on the radio that early in the day, but most often we hear inane chatter about – well like the Seinfeld show – nothing. Mighty Mite has a feature that allows me to change channels at the touch of a button, and he feels me use it OFTEN. We can’t be lulled back to sleep by the soothing sounds of Light Jazz, or the names on the birthday lists, or the pointless stories of who’s dating who. We usually flip around the stations until we hear the Eye-in-the-Sky guy telling us what road to avoid because there’s a freezer truck tossed on its side spilling its guts of frozen chicken strips. We’re good to go then.
Once we’re out of the city maze, Mighty Mite and I can fly – well as fast as his little 4-cylinder legs can take us, and we don’t overtake many. But we’re happy, because there’s less traffic and we can actually kick back and enjoy the ride. We have about 20 minutes of easy travel – time enough to listen to the radio without it distracting us from the job we have at hand (and wheel).
So we pray the news. It’s a trick I learned from a very special catechist and advisor. Whenever she heard a news story, she would take just a moment to say a prayer for the people affected. She has prayed for many victims of natural disaster, then got into her piggy bank and sent them money. She prayed for victims of sex crimes, robbery, accidents. And with all the news events in the world, she was a mighty busy pray-er.
You just never know how your prayers may help someone, but I’m sure my co-pilot knows. And if I can turn that hour in the dark into useful time for God, then I accept my mission. Heck I have to be on the road anyway, so God-willing I drive on – praying the news.