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My function for the 4th of July parade in a local Vermont town was 2-fold: 1. drop my husband and another friend who were singing with a Barbershop group, off at the parade site early, 2. drive myself to a nice parking spot, and take pictures of the float for my husband and the others. Simple, did it last year.

Last year…how well I was remembering that. I did the first drop off. Drove the winding dirt road where the parade floats were gathering, over to the Main Street of town, made the slow and very careful trip down the people studded street, trying to get to the traffic triangle before they closed it off. All about timing. I prayed about it, remembering how I had to take a parade member all the way across town last year, and almost did not make it through. Okay, take a deep breath.

What if I had to do that ferrying again? Well, it would be okay. We were early in the drop off this year. Just as I was waving goodbye to my husband….three singers needed me to follow them across town, so they could drop off their trucks at the end of the parade route, then bring them back to the float. Whew. Okay. So it went pretty quick, and I got them back to the float. Check the time – I’d make it if I concentrated, and prayed for help. Still a bit tense, I maneuvered my car around the floats and pedestrians here and there, and was almost the first car on the main street, when another car got in front of me. Okay. Just one car ahead. It was going slow. As slow as a car can possibly go and still be moving. Oh, sigh. Sigh again, a bit louder. Couldn’t that person go just a bit faster? Like at least 10 miles per hour? What if they close the access to the street I needed to get to before I got there?

Wow. Lord? Boy was she slow! There was no way to go around her, and I was getting annoyed. Exasperated with this unknown driver ahead of me. “Come on…move it!” I was urging.

Then, then – I was clearly and gently reminded of how I was out of peace, over a slow car. I knew it was the Lord reminding me, and in the clear and kind correction I realized that I was wrong, was forgiven and the traffic pattern was open for me to get to the parade end, park in a lovely spot, walk back to the parade route, get a great seat and all before the parade began. All that anxiety for nothing. God is so gracious!

When the parade began, all my childhood excitement of Fourth of July celebrations came forward. It was fun seeing children lining the curbs, waving little flags and waiting for the people on the floats to throw them candy. The music, the noise, the political figures waving and walking, the high school bands and the bagpipers…..parade excitement, parade rest.

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6–7 NKJV)