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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Sitting at the Stoplight

Sometimes the smallest things make me laugh.  Yesterday, as I was coming home from running errands, I found myself stopped at a lengthy stoplight.  Evidently, I had just missed the green light. . .and so had the impatient truck driver beside me.  He crept forward and crept forward, and anytime other traffic stopped, he assumed the light was about to change and revved up, only to roll back a little when the light changed for a different direction.  We sat through straightaways, turn lights and much more, but there was a difference.  I was waiting patiently (and laughing at his antics).  He was not (waiting patiently or laughing).

Life is full of stoplights, and unfortunately, some of them are rather long.  I only wish I were as patient with them as I was at the light yesterday.  Typically, however, I'm like the truck driver beside me, creeping forward inch by inch, tired of the waiting process.  I have places to go, people to see, goals to reach and dreams to pursue.  Who has time for waiting?

Just this morning, I was looking over my daily schedule and trying to decide if there were any way I could squeeze a few more hours of work into the mix.  I've found that if I spend all day writing, nothing else gets done.  If I spend the day doing other things like housework, exercise, preparing for my obligations at church, and so on, no writing is accomplished.  If I try to do a little bit of everything, I find myself stressed, overwhelmed and feeling like I really didn't accomplish anything.  And in the midst of my schedule evaluation, I heard the still, small voice whisper, "Be still for a few minutes."

At first, I shrugged it off, but it wasn't long before I realized that waiting isn't a punishment; it's a reprieve.  It's a time to put everything else aside and focus on one thing alone--the Lord.  I set my schedule aside, closed up my laptop, went to my piano and began to play and sing praises to the Lord.  After that, I opened my ears and my heart, and I waited.  Do you know what happened?  My stress began to melt away.  The weariness and frustration that had overwhelmed me moments before dissipated like the morning mist.  I felt happy.  I felt free.  I felt at peace.  And I felt like I could accomplish much more than I had previously thought simply because my mind was no longer being pulled in a million different directions.  Waiting had saved time, not wasted it.

In today's hectic pace, I know how frustrating it is to wait.  With so many obligations pulling at us, it seems like we simply can't afford to spend time waiting.  But the truth is that we can't afford not to.  Traffic lights are present for a reason.  So are waiting periods.  Sometimes we just need to set everything else aside and sit in the presence of the Almighty.  No inching forward.  No impatience.  No checking our watches (or cell phones).  Just wait.  Think about it, if God could make the sun stand still for Joshua, don't you think He can redeem the time that we spend following His urging to be still?  Sure He can.  I'm finding that I actually accomplish more when I wait than I do when I don't wait.  It makes no sense to the human mind, but then God doesn't have a human mind, does He?

Are you sitting at a stoplight today?  Does it seem like that light will never turn green?  Fear not.  Just keep waiting.  God has something grand in store.  Just give Him a little more time to get it wrapped for you, okay?

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