Are You Traveling Through Life as a Driver or a Passenger?

Monday, October 30, 2023


In life there are leaders and there are followers, just like in vehicles where there are drivers and passengers.  One of my favorite subjects to photograph is the view of the road in front of me as I enjoy our road trips from the passenger seat of our car.  

As the passenger, I get to relax and take in the sights, sometimes capturing them through the lens of my camera.  Often it isn’t until I come home and upload those captures to my computer that John is able to really ‘see’ and savor the beauty we experienced on our road trip, much of which he only got a glimpse of as he focused on the task of driving.

On our recent trip to Schoharie County this weekend where we did our best to stay on back roads, some a little precariously narrow, I was reminded that life can be compared to the contrast between being a driver or a passenger.

Often in life we are the driver – managing the conditions, keeping our 'vehicle' under control, directing our team (kids, spouse, co-workers, etc…) all to make for a smooth and safe journey.  We’re navigating careers, extracurricular activities, recreation, in addition to all the hazards life throws our way.  It’s easy to get so caught up in the demands of life that we sometimes forget to step away from the chaos to sit back and just enjoy the ride.

If we haven't been intentional, we can find ourselves waking up one day realizing that we’ve been so busy dodging potholes and avoiding crashes that we’ve forgotten to enjoy the view along our journey.  Our kids are grown, we’ve gotten old, jobs may have come and gone, opportunities to ‘live’ have slipped away, all while we’ve been busy driving down the busy highway we call ‘life’.

While it’s inevitable that someone needs to drive, to be in charge, to steer and navigate, it’s important to remember to pull over, take a break from the freeway we refer to as life – just like we might pull over at those scenic overlooks.  Better yet, let someone else drive once in a while.  Try being a passenger, a spectator if you will – in life and in the car.  Take time to savor the view around you, soak it up and file the beauty and blessings away for a stormy day that is sure to come at some point in your life.  Move out of the fast lane and take the dirt road.  That’s where the beauty is, where the moments you want to savor are, and where life happens just a little bit slower.   And while you’re there, take time to enjoy the view!

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