Monday, August 9, 2010

Traffic Patterns


I like to be punctual. However, with two young, unpredictable children, a new puppy and well... life, punctual is not always attainable. Some days I lament this fact, some days I accept it and appreciate each of the circumstances that prevented punctual from happening. As the children mature and as we gain more familiarity with said puppy, punctual seems far more reachable than it would have been say, three months ago.

Recently, we were on our way to see friends. Remarkably, we were on time. Punctual, I might even add. That is, until the traffic pattern on our major thoroughfare roughed us up a bit.!

At first the girls were giddily singing and teasing in the back seat. Soon, amidst our stops and starts, I could hear Emily, the elder of our daughters sigh. LOUDLY. This was only to be followed by a final cry of desperation or frustration, I am still not sure which, "I SO DO NOT LIKE RED LIGHTS!" Anxious to be in the company of our friends, she saw the crimson signals as the enemy.

I had to laugh in spite of her proclamation. As a younger woman, I probably would have agreed with Emily. However, as God refines my spirit and challenges me to change my ways, I have discovered that just as the red lights are essential to a fully functioning traffic pattern, they are also essential to our walk with the Lord.

"Be still and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10

At the particular light we were stopped when she cried out, there was an elderly woman crossing the road. Cane in hand, she moved slowly, carefully articulating each step with careful measure; a small bag in the other hand, she could not thank us for remaining still even when the light gave way to green. And there we sat, four lanes of cars, two in each direction, in rest. I prayed for her in those moments. If I had not stopped, would I have noticed her? Would I have paused during my day to offer a prayer on her behalf?

"This is what the Lord says, "Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls." Jeremiah 6:16

The passage does not say, "run through the crossroads", it states to stand, denoting stillness, seeking God's will and His way, resulting in rest. In our search for intimacy with God, we are implored to "cease striving and know that I am God..." (Psalm 46:10) He desires our whole heart and sometimes our stopping to take in what is happening around us. The red lights provide pause. They provide rest and time for contemplation. We need the red lights to create a traffic pattern that forces us to the quiet places to pray and reflect, perhaps just to be.

Older, wiser and perhaps more quiet, I am thankful for the red lights, for the moments that force me to remember Jesus went to be alone and pray. Created in His likeness, he wants our hearts poised and ready for His message...have you hit a red light yet today?



Sharon Sloan - Joy In The Truth said...

Oh I LOVE that scripture from Jeremiah and I LOVE HIS ANCIENT PATHS. My tastebuds hunger for them! Walking in His good way and finding rest. Who can resist?

Thank you for sharing this treasure God showed you during your drive time with your precious children. Some of our best conversations with each other and with God are in the car!!

And that precious woman crossing the street. I am wondering where she is right now.

Thank you for painting a beautiful picture with your words and for sharing His truths.


Kelly Combs said...

HI Heather. I think I might be like your daughter in both real life and my spiritual life! I like to! Slow down. Ugh. Painful. But slowing down is a time for self-reflection, and I time for LISTENING to God, not just talking to God. I need to work on that.

Thanks for the post!


This is a marvelous post! That Jeremiah passage is at the crossroads here on my Prayer Path at Shepherd's Walk. When you get to that crossroads you must choose which way to go - to remain on the path that takes you to the Sancutary Circle into the Presence of God!

I too, don't like red lights but on my recent trip to Maine a song played over and over as I traveled on the highway saying, "slooowwww down, sloooowwwww down." I took that as a Word from God to take in all the beauty of His Majesty along the way, listening for His Voice to lead and guide me!

Loved the scriptures here and the entire post. What an encouragement!

Choosing Joy, Stephanie

Edie said...

What an excellent post Heather. I so enjoyed this red light and the message it spoke to my heart!

California Drivers Ed said...

HI Heather. Creo que podría ser como su hija, tanto en la vida real y mi vida espiritual! Me gusta moverme ... rápido! Baje la velocidad. Ugh. Dolorosas. Pero desaceleración es un momento para la autorreflexión, y tiempo para escuchar a Dios, no sólo hablar con Dios. Tengo que trabajar en eso.

Gracias por el puesto!