I do not like traffic, not one little bit. Of course, I don’t know many people that would say they do. Lately, traffic from Jefferson to Dacula in the mornings has been horrible. Maybe it’s the time change, construction, weather, school, summer, who knows, but it’s been bad.
I can easily get frustrated in traffic. It seems like I am wasting my time and that is very unproductive for me. I honestly feel like God has taught me a lesson with this traffic on how I handle or view things in my mind and really how life changes constantly.
Let me explain. First, doesn’t it seem like sometimes traffic is non-existent? You just breeze on into work. You can change lanes, go the speed limit (or a little above), and are never late. That is how my life and thought process works on those days. It seems life is easy and my thoughts are positive. I can just breeze through my day and accomplish so much.
Days like these keep me in a good frame of mind. Everything falls into place and I end up feeling productive and satisfied with myself and my accomplishments. There has been no frustration or wasting of time in my day. No traffic, no obstacles, and everything just fell into place. Basically on days like this I don’t necessarily “depend” on the Lord as much as I should because there are no roadblocks, detours, or traffic in my work or in my mind.
I am always thankful and grateful but it really seems like on days like this I am depending more on my own abilities than on God. I'm not saying that is right at all, I'm just being truthful.
Which brings me to the “traffic” days in my life and in my mind. These are the hard days. The days you feel like every step is a battle either physically, mentally, or emotionally. There are endless disruptions and nothing goes the way you planned. You feel trapped by your circumstances (traffic).
It seems as though you start something only to be interrupted. Your mind is racing, but in reality you are accomplishing nothing and moving slowly, if at all. This situation really bears a resemblance to my life, and mind for that matter.
Both my life and mind have been in traffic for quite some time now. I just realized it this week when I actually sat in REAL traffic. When I have so much traffic in my mind it causes a gridlock. It is paralyzing and so very unproductive, unless I am allowing God to use the traffic and gridlock to teach me. It sounds crazy, but it’s true.
In Isaiah 26:3 it says “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.” Sometimes I think traffic, especially in my mind, is God’s way of slowing me down and giving me the time and opportunity to depend and focus on Him!
Traffic actually causes you to be more careful. You have to be more aware of what is going on around you. If you aren’t careful and aware you can crash. Isn’t that the same thing we should be aware of when there is traffic in our life and mind?
I believe God wants me to be extremely careful when I am in that gridlock in my mind. Those especially are times when, if I’m not careful, aware and in tune with God, I can crash emotionally or physically. God provides warning signs that I need to slow down! He wants me to slow down and be careful with my decisions all the time, but especially careful when my life is full of traffic.
I also think God wants me to be more alert during these times. I have to be able to realize my life and mind is in traffic and I need to desperately look to God for guidance. Just looking around and realizing that my life is busy and admitting that is so important. I can’t do everything and be everything for everyone. Read that statement again, because you can’t either.
I don’t know if you are like me but sometimes I forget that only God can do everything and be all we need. Being aware of the traffic in your life and mind is a reminder that only God is in control! We just need to focus when we are in traffic and trust the One who is in driving our lives!
Being aware and focusing on God frees you from the responsibility of trying to figure out and solve all the traffic in your life and mind. Don’t we all need that freedom? I know I do.
I don’t think anyone will ever love sitting in traffic, however I hope that when we do we will use the actual traffic time in our car to pray for the difficult traffic times in our life. I’m sure my drive will be better, my mind clearer, and my day smoother. Oh, and just for the record, you can pray with your eyes open.
Jill Johnson, a staff member at the Georgia Baptist Mission Board, finds spiritual applications in her everyday experiences as a wife, mother, grandmother and Georgian. She is available to speak to your church's women's gatherings. Reach her at email@example.com.