Traffic Lights

As I was reading my devotional yesterday over some verses in the Book of Ruth, it brought up a point about the difficulty we often have trusting in God.  It went on to say that we have almost no difficulty hitting the gas when we see a tiny green lens light up on a busy traffic corner, fully trusting that all other drivers will stop for us because a simple red light tells them to.  We just fly on through.

And it asked, “Why do we not do the same thing for God?”

It was an interesting thought.

And so I vowed to spend today in a spiritual “driver’s ed.”  Trying to “see” the green lights as they stretch out before me, and trying to  “go” without hesitation.

So, I started with big plans of cleaning the house.  (Always a thrill a minute around here.  What can I say?  Still, I couldn’t argue with the dog hair and dust bunnies that  housecleaning was overdue).   I grabbed the vacuum and a dust rag and got busy.

Five minutes later the phone rang.  Caller ID informed me it was a friend.  Probably wanting to chat.  Normally I would let it go to voicemail because  I HAVE A PLAN FOR TODAY.  But I felt the urge to pick up.  The friend did most of the talking.  I listened.  (Oh, stop it!  I know that’s not normal for me OK?  But from time to time I do let others talk.  Really.)  I then shared my opinion some wise insight where I saw fit.

Then, while still on the phone, a knock at the door.  Another friend.  Bringing me some goodies!  Hmmm….a choice to make here.  The house is a mess.  I need to clean.  I could stand at the door and talk.  (They usually get the idea then).  But my motto has become, “You know you’ve become my friend when I let you see my dirt.”  So I let her in.  I even pointed out the dog hair.  (As if it needed to be pointed out).

She stayed a while.  Turned out she’d gotten some bad news and was trying to come to grips with the near imminent loss of a family member.  There is little to do then, but listen.  (Not much talking on my part again.  Shocker number two for the day, I know).  Still, I was in no hurry.  And since I rarely listen without throwing in my two cents and then meandering onto different topics of interest plus throwing in a smart remark or two, the friend and I parted ways laughing and smiling at each other’s good humor and fun.

I shut the door and then I did a little vacuuming.

I remembered the interrupted call with the first friend and called her back.  No answer.

I went about the rest of my chores, and got done with many of them in record time.  After all, what’s more revitalizing than having just spent time with friends?

Then I sat down here ready to think of a brilliant post for today.  Wondering when my green light would come (hoping it would light up an idea or two).

And so I asked God…Why aren’t You giving me a green light here?  Should I not write today?

And the God of Wisdom Who Can Never be Outdone asked me to review how my day had gone so far.

Ok. Easy enough.  *I* wanted to clean house today.  *I* wanted to come up with something to write about while I was cleaning.  *I* cleaned the house, PLUS visited with some friends.  *I’ve* been doing quite a bit of work around here.  Seriously, You are GOD, is testing my abilities to answer your “green light” with my “go” so much to ask?  Especially when it would give me something to write about??!?!

Then a flutter in my heart … I did. (FYI, God speaks very softly to my heart, but it’s rarely faint or fuzzy.  It’s almost always crystal clear.  Even if I don’t understand it oreven agree with it.  So I print it in bold.)

So I looked back at my day and wondered when God had snuck into it.  What threads had He woven together in the fabric of my life, that I may have missed?

And suddenly.

Suddenly I saw my day as He may have seen it:   friends crossing paths and phone lines, bringing gifts and sharing laughter and seeking comfort in one another.  With plenty of time left to do what was on *my* list, too.

And I smiled.

Cheater, I teased.  It’s not much of a challenge when the green lights comes disguised as friends. 

But I was grateful and humbled nonetheless.

Because what He’d shown me here (and you, too) is what He’s continued to show me all year.  Or at least since I made that Lenten promise last Spring.  Remember that promise–embarrassing as it was– to love myself a little more?

What I’ve learned REPEATEDLY since then is that the old adages are trite, but so true:  GOD IS LOVE.  Always.

If He wasn’t, how else could I explain this?  That at every opportunity I take to think and learn and TRY REAL HARD to get things “right,”  He comes along and  “tests”  me with “green lights” disguised as my own friends.   Then He holds and soothes me by pressing into my heart these words:   Relax, Kid, you’re doing just fine.

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