This is an observation on time and asks:

How does a mere minute of that precious commodity, time, affect the amount of traffic on the road as I make the 14 mile journey into school from the rural area in which I live?

I give myself 30 minutes to make a 20 minute journey.

At least it was 20 minutes three years ago when I started working as a sub at McKinney Christian Academy.

At 7am I encounter no other cars along our rock road and as I pull out onto the farm to market road, rapidly gathering speed, I may see a set of headlights in my rear view mirror slowly closing in on me until I turn off onto an equally deserted FM road about 5 miles further along.

If a truck does happen to come up behind me on this second road it usually zips past having no patience for my careful navigation of the potholed, winding, narrow road.  When it’s not twisting I check out the calves soulfully eying their mothers in the opposite field and a pretty white faced one looking doleful melts my heart for a moment…


I check out the rain-filled lakes and a couple of horses hanging their heads over the fence lusting after  greener pastures.

I enjoy the pastoral scenery, I am ever wowed by God’s creation.  Appreciation is my way of offering thanks for my blessed life.

The next road is typically busier, the morning is picking up speed and the subdivision traffic is steadily making its way to schools, work and meetings.

Traffic lights take the place of stop signs now and I can usually get through without having to wait for several turns of green.

The penultimate light has a slip road and now, because of the restaurants and businesses that have built up over the last 3 years, entranceways into the little shopping centers provide opportunities for the cars ahead of me to cut through, beat the corner traffic, foil the computerized signals.

The final turn usually finds me first at the red light and I am home free.  Just two minutes from school and twelve minutes before the first bell; plenty of time to find a parking spot, collect a key from the office, unlock my door, put my bags down and check lesson plans before the first students float in and take their seats.


If I leave one minute later…just one minute…

There’s a truck in front of me on my dirt road,

I’m waiting for four maybe five vehicles to pass before I can pull out onto the main road at the top of the lane.

Still I notice the sunrise…more brilliant because I am just a minute or two later,


The twisty, potholed road is busy and I’m immediately hemmed in by a tractor and an impatient SUV behind me that wants to get ahead.

There are already three vehicles waiting to enter the typically busier road and missed opportunities to pull out are met with impatient honks and the flickering of brake lights before I’m on my way.

The subdivisions have started spewing their traffic the drivers are displaying signs of impatience becoming reckless when they pull out randomly as if they own the road.

The first set of traffic lights are backed up and I glance at my clock to see I’m no longer just a minute behind but curiously seven.

I try to beat it  by going straight instead of turning and making a u-turn to catch the green from the other side.

The sun is a little higher in the sky; by the time I pull onto 380 it’s poised just above the horizon and hits me full in the face.

I pull down my visor and make it slowly through the last two lights, cars backing up the closer I get to school.

I park and walk quickly to my classroom stopping on the way for a key.

The early-birds are waiting sitting on benches, silent, surrounded by backpacks.

I put my key in the door, grab the last few seconds for a prayer and a deep breath;

The starting bell has my heart pounding as I enter the room.

How did one minute become ten?



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