Speed-BumpSpeed bumps come in all shapes and sizes. Some are so wide and smooth that my car simply rolls over them while giving passengers a momentary thrill. Others seem to require slamming on the brakes and creeping over at two miles per hour to keep from giving passengers whip lash or leaving the car’s oil pan lying in the street.

Speed bumps in life also fall into various extremes as we journey toward our dreams. For instance, consider my dream of being traditionally published with a fiction manuscript. Some days the ideas flow and word counts steadily grow. A contest judge or a critique partner points out a few weak areas and I must slow down to reconsider the plot and rewrite sections before regaining momentum. Demands from my day job or sick kids limit the hours available to write and it feels like I am creeping forward. A publisher responds to a query by requesting a full manuscript and I go sailing forward … until that same publisher regretfully informs me that they are no longer interested in my work. Whiplash and a broken undercarriage as I leave traces of my dreams scattered in the road.

My high school sophomore son’s dream of playing varsity basketball hit a brutal speed bump when he broke his ankle during the second game of the season and required surgery. Four and a half weeks later, he’s finally allowed to start putting weight on it while wearing an air-cast boot. Thanks to weight-lifting, writing the alphabet with his foot, a stationary bike, and laps in the pool, he’s doing everything he can to be ready when he finally gets over the bump and can get back onto the court. It may be slow going, but at least he’s moving forward.

What can we learn about and from speed bumps? Everyone hits them – some with more impact and damage than others. Trying to avoid them often causes more jarring than simply going over at the pace they require. Slow progress (even painfully slow progress) is still progress. And past the speed bump is a stretch of clear road just waiting to be explored.

What about you? Have you ever hit a speed bump when pursuing a dream? Did you roll through or have to slam on the brakes? What have you learned from speed bumps?

Speed Bumps
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