Life in the Left Lane

On a typical two-lane interstate road with two lanes heading the same direction, the rule is the faster vehicle gets the left lane. So, to be a courteous and safe driver, we stay in the right lane, but when we come up on a car going slower than us, we move to the left lane, pass the car, and move back. If we’re alone on the highway, it’s fine to be in the right lane, but if you look in the rear view mirror and see someone coming up on you, driver protocol is to pull into the right lane to allow them to drive past you. It’s a plan to maintain progress and safety.

The other day I was on a stretch of interstate with a decent amount of traffic. There was a guy driving about 5 miles under the posted speed limit . . . in the left lane. The right lane was full, so the faster people were now piling up behind this guy. No one was honking or pointing the bad driver finger. No road rage. The guy’s car had enough untinted, exposed glass that everyone could see he was clueless as to what he was creating. So, people in the right lane began to adjust speed to allow the backed-up people behind him in the left lane to pass him on the right. Car after car swerved into the right lane and zoomed around him. He was undaunted in his position—never looking behind him and never looking around. Eyes straight ahead. Everyone was adjusting their speed and having to be more aware of other drivers, because of one guy’s behavior. It was a really interesting observance of human nature, watching 40 to 50 people adjust to one other person.

So, I started thinking—where in my life am I either . . .

1—The left lane driver in someone’s life, clueless to my actions, apathetic to what I’m causing, creating a roadblock to other’s progress, intentional or not?

2—Stacked up behind someone, waiting on others to move, waiting on people to adjust to get progress moving again. What move do I need to make to best help others progress?

Here’s a few critical questions to bring it home:

—Am I impeding my wife’s progress by staying in “the left lane” in some area?

—Am I impeding my kid’s progress by staying in the “left lane” in some area?

—At work?

—At church?

—With friends?

—Extended family?

Okay, so you realize you’re “left laning” someone—what do you do? You communicate. With God. With the person or people you’re holding back. Confess. Adjust. Get back on the road, but this time with intentionality and awareness.

As sinners, we are going to get clueless in “the left lane” sometimes. The key is taking action once we realize we are.

Your own ears will hear him. Right behind you a voice will say,
“This is the way you should go,” whether to the right or to the left. —Isaiah 30:21 NLT

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