As the world returns to travel, and many take to the roads, I always find it fascinating that no matter where you are going, thousands of insects make an impact on the windshield of your car. From England to the U.S., pesky bugs create a lack of visibility, sometimes leading to unplanned detours along your path. The farther you go, the more they end up on the windshield.
These bugs cause three things: disturbances in our visibility, distractions and detours. We’ve all had plenty of bugs on the windshield of our life’s journey these past 12 months, and we’ve all done our best to stay steady during these unsteady times, traveling a predictable road we felt we were supposed to be on. But in order to regain our focus on the road ahead, in spite of the distractions, we must go through a process of renewal, rebirth and reset.
First we have to find a place to pull over and scrape off the bugs in order to renew our vision. Once we can see more clearly, and can figure out where we are headed by focusing on a new horizon, a rebirth has begun. And as our journey resumes back on the road, we have hit the reset button, and even forged a new path, different from the predictable path of the past 12 months, perhaps with a new purpose.
I have seen this road-trip reset happen firsthand with friends and colleagues. My friend Steve Harvey famously spent time living in his car. He wasn’t even on his journey yet, but parked on the side of the road—literally. What he has 20 years later is a path he could not have foreseen, as a household name with television and radio shows.
It’s also been my privilege to be friends with Smokey Robinson and learn from one another. He’s told me that I have a wonderful way of walking people through their best and worst times and helping them get back onto the road of life’s journey.
One of the most difficult times in Smokey’s life was when he was battling some personal trauma and choices that left him feeling distant and discouraged. He said my teachings helped him see his way out; they helped him wipe those bugs off his windshield. By leaning on his childhood faith and on people whom he felt understood what he was going through, he was able to get back on the road, take a new path and continue to make an impact in the music community.
This month, as the traditional Easter season of renewal and rebirth comes to a close, there is a renewed sense of hope that wasn’t around during this time one year ago. Travel is picking up. Vaccines are being administered. Families are reuniting. The idea of resurrection is a return to life, and this life may now give you different options and paths to continue your journey. But you don’t have to make all of those choices at once. Winston Churchill once said it was a mistake to look too far ahead: “The chain of destiny can only be grasped one link at a time.”