I think when I’m rich I will have a driver. Not because I do not like to drive myself (although it would be nice to not ride around in a sunfire all the time).
But because sometimes you just really need someone to let you close your eyes and hang your feet out the window.
I will have this driver on call for night drives, rain drives, Sunday drives, and/or the sky looks almost fake right now drives.
He will be an old man. And I will call him Ernest regardless of what his real name is.
Accordingly, I will love him earnestly because Ernest is the right name for a driver and because he will be mine.
Ernest will have grey hair and wear glasses. He will speak gently, but with conviction. His eyes will be blue but I will not know it because they will be hidden under the sinking wrinkles of wisdom and the thick lenses of tortoise-colored Berkshire Chase eyeglasses.
Ernest will have lived a very full life. That way he will have stories to tell on a bored afternoon drive and discernment to share on a cloudy-brain drive. He will be well read to ensure an extensive vocabulary and timely, poignant literary references. He will have children so that he won’t mind me eating in the car. And he will have loved someone completely so that he won’t mind me crying.
Ernest will love Jesus and lightening. He will have known the fullness of the joy of the gospel so that he can remind me of it on “take me away from here” drives. But he will have also known the deep shreds of the pain of the world so that he will be quiet on “ignore me while I curl up in the back seat” drives.
When it rains he will ask me about my parents and tell me about his wife and convince me that I don’t really have to grow up if I don’t want to.
When it’s sunny he’ll sing along to Dixie Chicks and have a comb on hand for when the wind dances my hair into tangles.
He will never hug the right shoulder because he will know how scared I now am of accidents.
He will honk when it’s appropriate but never hold it out because he will carry anger, it will never carry him.
He will always use his blinker, never cut you off, and never leave his brights on when another car’s approaching.
He will hopefully be from England but I will settle for the deep south if I have to.
He will teach me about geography and World War I and other things that I know nothing about.
He will never use a map – partly because he is a man – partly because he will always know where he’s going.
And I will trust that on the “I hate my life, let’s go anywhere” drives.
Ernest won’t put up with excessive self -pity and/or -loathing. He will be curt and harsh when it’s deserved.
But Ernest will always keep picking me up, always looking for a train track to be stopped at.
He will drive as far as I want, as fast as I want, and as quietly as I want.
And then he will always, always take me back home.
Because where you are, is where you should be, he’ll say.
And where you should be is where there’s joy.