Driving in the Dark

My husband and I have the distinct pleasure of living nearly all of our life out on the road. We own a big rig, and we are leased on with a company that delivers Broadway shows all over the USA – and sometimes we venture into Canada. We love being together and working together. And we also love to explore the areas that we visit. I like to say that we’re on a perpetual vacation with a little bit of work thrown in, because that’s what it feels like to me. In essence, we get paid to travel. 

Most of the time the Broadway shows load out at night, and we can be seen with our rigs and trailers in the downtown area of major metropolitan cities, big cities, and even some smaller towns, usually only to those who keep late hours. Even before the final performance of the run of one of these plays is done, our trucks are already in the area of the theater. While the audience is enjoying the last act, the loading of trailers begins. Setting up and tearing down a show that we bring into and out of a theater is a massive undertaking. Our trailers haul scenery, wardrobe (including wigs – some of which are quite elaborate, you should see the wardrobe and wigs for Phantom of the Opera!), props, sound, lighting and even the deck (an entire stage is laid over the existing stage at the theater). Usually within four to five hours after the final curtain call the entire show is loaded out and we are on our way to the next venue. It’s not uncommon for us to be zipping from one side of the country to the other in the course of a few weeks – in fact this Sunday we pick up in New York City, and will take a Ballet company all the way into Costa Mesa, California for delivery on Thursday morning – 2,820 miles (4,538 km) in total. 

The amount of distance that we cover often requires what is referred to as team driving – having the truck moving pretty much around the clock. One sleeps while the other drives. Sleeping is not bad unless your truck is navigating over bumpy roads (more often than not). My husband has over 30 years driving experience, and I have a paltry one year. So, it’s easy to say that he’s the expert and I’m far from it! He’s also much more of a night owl than I am – perhaps it’s all my years in the corporate world that required me to get up early in the morning. So, Jim takes the night shift as he has the experience to anticipate and handle the heavy driving in the dark. Too many things are hidden in the dark and we have to be able to quickly react to hazards that you cannot see, and we have to anticipate those hazards – it is especially important because the combined weight of our truck and trailer can be as high as 80,000 pounds (36,287 kg) and stopping that beast unexpectedly can be very dangerous. I generally drive during the daytime and although traffic can be a considerable challenge in the larger metropolitan areas, I have the luxury of being able to see more than 250 feet (76 meters) ahead (the average distance that our tractor-trailer’s low beam headlights reach). I think if you ask my husband that he would say that he too prefers to operate the truck in the daylight.

In our Christian life, our Lord and Savior is referred to as the Light, and Satan and his minions are referred to as darkness. Think about it, all things can easily been seen in the light, while so many things are unseen while in the dark. In our physical world, light and dark mix during dusk and dawn. Watch a sunset and you’ll see just how quickly the darkness overtakes the light. I like to think about how easily, quickly and predictably the darkness of evil can overtake the light in our souls – at least as quickly as after a sunset, but probably even more so in ourselves. All it takes is one split second of letting ourselves step into the darkness to ruin our witness and drive others away from Jesus. The darkness can suck you in like the vortex of a black hole and pretty soon you’re like the person in this saying: “When you’re up to your neck in alligators, it’s hard to remember that your original objective is to drain the swamp.”

Thankfully the Lord sends us a lifeline to rescue us out of that swamp, well, actually the Lord is our lifeline. He is the light that overtakes the darkness, just as the sun overtakes the darkness each and every morning. And when we walk with Him, talk with Him, stay with Him, He illuminates all aspects of our lives. It’s our choice, and if you’re serious about your Christian walk, it’s our duty to walk in the light. That’s exactly where I prefer to be. 

The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? (Psalms 27:1, ESV)

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