Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Message of Traffic

Earlier this week I was caught up in some of the worst traffic of my life.  In a space of 20 miles, I passed countless accidents from a brief snow storm that left ice on the road.  It took me around two hours to move that twenty miles with a lot for drive to go after.  After getting over myself and all the frustration I asked God if there was a message through all of that. 

With that, God put on my heart the message of traffic.  In this message, the first player is the traffic itself.  The traffic is representative of the trials we go through in this life.  We all deal trials from time to time.  Some trials are difficult and some are easy.  Some trials we can see that there is an end in sight and for some trials we can  not.  Some of these trials are a result of a major tragedy and sometimes a minor problem.  We all faced them, face them, and will continue to face them.  They are part of our lives hear on earth.  And how we handle traffic is a great metaphor for how we deal with trials.

First, we can get angry and frustrated.  I got that way the other night, and I really should not have. My wrong reaction to traffic helps me illustrate how wrong reactions affect the trails we deal with in life.  My anger and frustration only served to make a bad situation worse.  I did not make it through the traffic any faster.  What I should have done is what we should all do in trials of any kind, we should use that as a chance to grow closer t God.  We can pray, we can worship, we can meditate on His word.  If I had done that, my time in traffic just like our times of trial on earth, would have made things so much easier. 

The best way to handle trials is to be prepared for it.  For many of us, we hear traffic reports on the radio and the internet and learn what roads to avoid.  This is like the Word of God and our sermons in church.  Our pastors share with us the warnings and pitfalls in life and what His word says about the trials we face.  His teachings (and our own reading) work to show us how to handle those problems when they happen.

We also like to hear reports from other people traveling the same road we are.  My brother-in-law and I both have long commutes and 60 miles of that commute is along the same road at about the same times.  Sometimes I am ahead of him and sometimes he is ahead of me and we keep each other informed if there is a major traffic issue.  We also share pointers on how to make things better like letting each other know what lane is closed.  This illustrates one of the reasons God allows us to go through problems in life.  We learn from our trials so that we can help others when they face the same trials.  Just like my brother-in-law and I share pointers on how to face the traffic ahead, so we share good advice on how to make it through trials when someone is going through something we have already gone through. 

I think the best observer of traffic are those flying in airplanes thousands of feet in the air.  You can see everything from that vantage point.  You can see the traffic jam and miles and miles of roads in every direction.  From that perspective, one can know how to avoid every kind of traffic because you can see where any traffic is.  I believe this represents God.  God, like an observer in an airplane, can see not just all the trials you face, but He can see the future and the past.  For God, it is not just miles of road He sees, but years of time and the lives of countless others.  We may not be able to call the airplane flying overhead, but we can reach God in prayer at any time.  The best and only true way to make it through or around the trials facing us in life is to be in communion with God.  God knows what we can not and He promises to guide us through our lives as we seek His will. 

I can not emphasize that last point enough.  Driving home yesterday there was traffic heading the other direction.  The highway was backed up for miles, but when I passed all those stopped cars to past where the traffic was, I saw people driving along at normal speed oblivious to the traffic that lies ahead of them.  God has really put that on my heart as a metaphor for our nation.  I believe we are in for some really rocky times and the only way to get around that traffic is to seek God.  It is only the guidance of God that can get us through the rough roads ahead. \
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV

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