Saturday, August 1, 2009

Expect Delays

"The mind of man plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps.—Proverbs 16:9 (NASB)

Expect Delays

The lighted yellow dots on the computerized signal spelled, "EXPECT DELAYS."

With directions in hand and my foot on the accelerator, I looked forward to meeting Gloria in Castle Rock for a little girlfriend time. As I zipped past the foreshadowing flashes of the signal, my radio blasted, "Be Still and Know that I Am God."

Suddenly, every lane on the freeway stopped—dead.

My tires sat stock-still on the fiery pavement. My soul was not still—it was hot and irritated. What? It's Saturday. Why is the freeway backed up?

I love the feel of a 75-mile-per-hour trajectal towards my destination.

Traffic crept and I called my friend to let her know we might miss the start time of our movie. "Not to worry," she said. "We'll regroup when you get here."

I relaxed.

Traffic again accelerated to full speed ahead. I'd already totaled one car on this never-ending road construction, car crash corridor; so I nervously negotiated my car in my lane between a cement barrier and semi-trucks driving far too close to my door handle for comfort.

Traffic stopped again. Again? Arggg! I spotted a dirt escape route to a road paralleling the interstate. I broke away from the pack and guided my car onto the muddy, dirt trail, pulling onto the old highway. Feeling victorious, I sped alongside the cars stopped on their tire treads. I passed the traffic stopper—an accident—said a prayer for the injured parties and cruised onto an on-ramp, depositing my car back on a near empty expressway.

One accident, two "Two Men in a Truck®" trucks lounging on the shoulder, a million rubberneckers, and several slow-down-fines-doubled road construction sites stretched the thirty-minute drive into an hour+.

This drive reminded me of my journey with God. I enjoy setting my cruise control, sitting back, cranking up the praise and worship music, and whizzing along at full speed with no distractions.

But far too often stress and obstacles punctuate my start, stop, go, slow down, speed-up life. Road construction, accidents, sidetracks, and unexpected delays put the brakes on my progress towards my goals, or so I think.

Life interruptus gets in the way of my dreams and aspirations. And often the reinforced barriers erected to keep me safe make me feel trapped. But the pauses of life drive me to engage in pressing heart matters. The stillness of immobility reminds me that God is at work on my behalf. Even though I make my plans, God directs my path.

Lord, I'm so grateful that even when I'm impatient and driven, you are at work in my life patiently guiding, protecting and perfecting my faith.

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