Life has been a little busy lately and I often struggle with stopping long enough to listen to the things the Lord is teaching me.
You see, for the summer I’ve been commuting back and forth between my home and the university where I earned my bachelors. Now its a decent drive of 30-45 minutes on the interstate depending on the traffic. I have plenty of time to listen to music, pray, talk to the cars around me, and ask Siri to help me plan out my day. As I leave my house, my subdivision, and my part of Brandon I have a choice of driving two different ways to get to the same exact red light. I get to the four way stop and I have to make a decision. Left leads me down a street to another stop where I turn right and ride the rode down to the red light. If I choose to go straight then I have two more stop signs. A winding curve. A stop sign. Driving around the statue in the center of the square then up left to the red light. Clearly you can see why I always choose to turn left at the first four way stop. Less traffic. Fewer stops. I get where I need to be. Now, every day when I get to this red light I find that the other lane (the much longer route) has a long green light and cars zoom past me while I wait 5-7 minutes on my light to turn green. Now, if I’m a few cars back from the light then I’m looking at two green lights before I’ll even be close to getting to go. It is much closer, but I spend much more time waiting for my turn.
Everyday now for a few weeks I’ve gotten to the glaring red light and reminded myself “tomorrow we will take the long way and cut off some time.” Today was that tomorrow. I pushed forward after the four way stop. I made it through the next two stops, the winding curve, I dodged the statue and navigated the lanes of traffic. Just before I slipped up the green light to receive my own olympic medal for shaving off 10 minutes from my commute. . . You guessed it. The light turned red. Five minutes short of a bronze medal and there I found myself waiting. Again.
I. Was. Angry.
As I sat through the light that was somehow much longer than it’s normal 3.5 seconds I felt the familiar urging of the Lord pulling together a very tangible lesson.
Sometimes the Lord calls us to take a path that seems short, but requires much more waiting in the end. Sometimes we get tired of waiting and there sits another route we could take. It originally seemed longer, but we’ve seen people take it and get where they needed to go a lot faster than we have. So we take the long road, and sometimes we get stuck at the same dang intersection as before. The Lord often calls us the “easy way” and we find it nearly doubles the waiting we thought we would have to endure. The Lord calls us to obediently follow that path even if all the roads are leading to the same place. We all eventually get to the interstate. (or the sonic because we didn’t buy breakfast foods. Then the interstate.)
Now if you are in any season like mine then you know that the options are there. The doors will both open. The light will turn green, but you’ve got to make the best decision to know which path to take and embrace how long the Lord makes you wait for your green light. The path matters. The time it takes to get there? Well, that’s just one less lesson you have to learn. Praise the Lord for that.