I was not aware if Driving and Spirituality are connected, but the way I started with driving, I was pretty sure it was.
In the initial days of my driving alone to office, I stood in front of our altar at home everyday, begging Jesus to come with me in the car. I guess he obliged, and I also believe he was the one who drove the car instead of me. Sounds funny right? Before turning on the ignition, I tell Jesus that I am not going to drive, it is he who is driving, so take the complete responsibility.
Every move, every turn, every maneuver, was prefixed with a mild Jesus (which sounded like Jeez) and in crowded and some difficult areas, it became multiples of 2 or 3 or 5 depending on how scared I was. I don’t know if anyone would understand this, but those initial days I was shitting bricks. And then there are times when the difficulty levels were so high, on the road that calling Jesus in multiples of 5 would not suffice and I had to resort to the Malayalam version of the Lords Name, “Eeshoye” which meant I reached my saturation point after which I will lose all control of myself.
I used to call Jesus so much that I truly believed at one point, that out of frustration, he will appear and shock the daylights out of me.
Having not got used to listening to music in the car yet, for obvious reasons like not losing control of the important sounds ( read honking and other noises that need my attention) the music system is normally not switched on. Though I am fine with people talking while in the car, thanks to my driving instructor, Mohan Master, who spoke dime a dozen, to a point that his conversations were a distraction while driving.
Oh and this needs a special mention - I have a particular pair of shoes that I normally drive in, which is flat and something that I cannot wear with most of my clothes that I go to office in, and the car at times looks like a shoe godown, I might end up having more than a few pairs of other shoes that I change into when I get off the car. That’s beside the point though.
So within the confines of the car, I am alone and the only thing that I focus on are my conversations with my Lord. And I think the conversations that I have with Jesus during the drive are the most honest, most intense and that’s why I probably been able to drive, and am able to get out of the fear of driving.
The first week of driving, and my fear was at its peak, the only thing that I kept coming to me once I reached office was, I have to drive back home and once back home, the whole night I was petrified about driving to work the next day. I continued my dialogue with God and continuously conversed with Him to get over this fear. As usual I went to church that Sunday, In fact, Joe made me drive to Church.
My prayers were intense than usual and I in all earnestness laid down in front of Altar all the doubts and fears that I had and told him He has to help me get over the fear of driving.
During the Eucharistic ceremony of the mass, this is where the bread and wine are distributed to the congregation as the body and blood of Christ and the song played by choir was one of my favorite.
The song begins like this,
O the word of my Lord
Deep within my being,
Oh the word of my Lord,
You have filled my mind.
As usual I was singing this song along with the choir, of course loudly, and then there was this para where the Lord spoke to me directly. He couldn’t have said this any more directly than this and the para goes like this.
And everywhere you are to go
My hand will follow you;
You will not be alone.
In all the danger that you fear
You’ll find me very near,
Your words my own.
By the time I reached the last line of this para, I was crying. I do not know if this makes sense, but I felt that while I called out to him in my helplessness, He strengthened me through these words.
Glad that Driving has helped me get one step closer to God.
I am gotten over the fear of driving now, well almost.
I still pray before I drive.
I still converse with Jesus during the drive.
I still do not switch on any music. Yet.