“Just keep going!…Just keep going.” You no doubt are familiar with these three words, but are they just some hollow pep talk? Last week I put “just keep going” to a full-throttle test as I revved my all-wheel CRV across a rain-gullied, mud-sloughed country road. What I thought was a barren dirt road on the way to my uncle and aunt’s house in rural Nebraska turned into something you’d see on those Jeep® TV commercials. Vehicle swerving, mud hurling, driver yelling (almost swearing). Mercy.

How did one docile woman turn into an adrenaline-psyched young male in a matter of seconds? She, er, I, didn’t realize the road conditions ahead. I’ve been on that dirt road hundreds of times in my whole lifetime, and I just didn’t realize how much rain had fallen in recent days before my arrival to the homeland. What looked like a dry dirt road was in reality a drying road with thick mud underneath. I mean sink-deep thick.

Repeat After Me

So what do you do when your vehicle begins to spin, swerve, and sashay like a catfish out of water? You keep steady on the gas and repeat after me, “Just keep going. Just keep going.” That was my prayer heavenward as my CRV turned sideways again and again … toward the ditch. I whooshed through flowing streams. And I whomped left, then right. I wailed in my spirit.just keep going

With no farmhouses in sight and likely no cell coverage, I determined to white-knuckle the steering wheel, shift into second, and press the pedal to the metal. No letting up on the gas to stall in the slop. “Just keep going.”

But you know what? After what seemed like forever, I spotted the rocked road ahead and I didn’t let up until my tires hit firm ground again. Whoa! Whew! Wowzer! Beth conquers another Bend-er adventure! Somewhere in the mud melee, I chose to power ahead and not even think about getting stuck. “Just keep going.”

Quite a Story to Tell

By the time I reached my Uncle Herb and Aunt Janet’s house, I had quite a story to tell.

“You made it on that road?” Uncle Herb immediately queried. Yep. That road. Which I learned was actually four miles and not just a mile like I originally thought.

The SecretThen Uncle Herb added matter-of-factly, “Well, you know what we call people who take that muddy road?”

“Uh, no,” I sheepishly replied.

“City slickers,” my ninety-seven-year-old uncle shared with his impish grin.

We all chuckled, and I mumbled a silent prayer of relief. I’m never going to traverse that road again unless I know ahead of time that it’s bone dry and solid as cement. Some of us city slickers do learn from our mistakes.

What’s your road like ahead? You facing thick mud or firm pavement? Either way, be prepared for a few unexpected hazards, but remember to “just keep going.” Even country girls-turned-city slickers like me can follow that advice.