Driving is an art form based on trust. Not only are you trusting yourself to operate a machine that can potentially kill someone- but there is also a factor of trusting the other drivers on the road.
You probably don’t think of it this way, but as you’re traveling along- whether it be your daily commute or an eager weekend venture to the lake- you usually have people tailing you. And while you’re caught up in your own priorities with a grocery list of worries running around your head, you probably aren’t considering the car behind you.
When my dad was teaching me to drive, he would often utter the phrase, “never leave your wingman.” Being the retired US Air Force navigator that he is, that phrase wasn’t new to me. Each summer when I was a kid, my dad’s family would travel to the beach in a caravan of about 4 cars. With our grandparents in the lead, dad would bring up the ‘wingman’ term often.
I wonder how important it is to be the wingman.
We watch a lot of crime shows at my house. And, (whether completely realistic or not), there’s usually a scene where authority figures break into some building. The standard goes that there’s a front man and a back man. Guns pointed, these men and women have the backs of their partners. It’s a relationship based on trust- sometimes to the point of life or death.
So, back to this driving concept. Do you ever think about how much you rely on the driver behind you? When you’re cruising down the road, I doubt it’s often on your mind that you are trusting those strangers behind you not to hit you. Sometimes it may seem more pressing to speed up and pass everyone, just to get a few minutes ahead of the rest of the people in traffic. We like to be in front of all the other cars to see clearly. I know I feel less pressure when the view in front of me isn’t teeming with scarlet break lights.
But maybe that isn’t always where we need to be. Maybe the person in front of us needs us to have their back. Maybe they need a wingman. Actually, I’m certain they do. Everyone needs prayers and support. And in a simple way, you’re given that opportunity every time you get behind the wheel.
“It’s a metaphor, you see.”
This post was inspired by: No Man is an Island by Tenth Avenue North.