14 “Listen to this, Job; stop and consider God’s wonders.15 Do you know how God controls the clouds and makes his lightning flash? Job 37:14-15 (NIV)
Traffic lights provide us direction on what actions to take when approaching an intersection. A red light tells us to stop; while a yellow light suggests to proceed with caution; and of course, when the light is green, we can GO!
Whenever I drive, it seems that the color of the light is a common “rite of passage” found in the origins of my driver's education class. Many times, I find myself in a hurry to reach my destination when I encounter a red light. I become antsy and impatient at times and believe the light will never change fast enough. Yellow lights are interesting as I ask myself can I make it or should I slow down. I must admit that I haven’t always been confident in my decisions about yellow lights. We come to a “fork-in-the-road” decision whether to brake or punch the gas - after all it is only a suggestion to proceed with caution, isn’t it?! Whether we have our foot on the brakes or the accelerator, the freedom to speed up comes to life when the light turns green.
With the intent to safely direct traffic, things go smoothly when everyone plays nice. Traffic lights seem to be more predictable than the circular format of roundabouts. But the bottom line is we have to pay attention in order to avoid any mishaps.
Have you ever wondered how a traffic light connects to God and to our Christian faith? The concept of “stop” has taken on a mind of its own related to my own faith. Like many teenagers, I found myself wanting to stop going to church and stop learning the lessons God wanted to teach me. In contrast, when life became difficult and my plate was full, God encouraged me to slow down on life and to speed up on my faith development. As my life continued, there have been numerous times when my life/faith was so far out of balance, God was the only place to stop to contemplate the peace of God’s presence. Stop became a gentle reminder that faith required an intentionality like no other. We are surrounded by God if we stop, look and listen as we navigate life’s journey.
I had to increase my awareness of the proceed with caution concept symbolized by the yellow light. I always seemed to think speaking and engaging with God was a black-and-white pursuit. However, the black ink was dependent on me seeking the relationship with God. There were numerous examples of when I moved too fast or too slow. God reminded me that being in the driver’s seat came with responsibility to steer in the right direction towards my own faith. Proceed with caution serves me well in traffic, and in my Christian life. Fortunately for me, there are times when God tells me to slow down in a world filled with go, go, go.
The concept of Go has many applications to my current faith. The ultimate meaning of Go is found in the Great Commission with Jesus instructing the disciples (and me) to go make disciples. While a green light tells us to go, the Bible tells us to Go prepared and know that God is the traffic light. Trust in Him, and the light turns green. Do you know when God tells you to stop and go?