Man oh man. 'Tis the season for everyone to want to go everywhere at the exact
same time. It took me & Kait 45 minutes to travel a single mile through the heart of Twin Cities freeways last night.
Now, anyone who knows me on a semi-personal level knows that I've been tested a lot
lately by sitting in traffic. The stretch of highway that Kait & I drive almost every day (which, according to the Dept. of Transportation, is the most-traveled section of highway in the state) was under construction for six months. I was honestly getting excited for sub-zero temperatures and multiple feet of snow, simply because it meant that construction workers wouldn't be able to work on the roads anymore. But even since the first snowfall, we've still had plenty of gridlock to deal with.
Last night, I snapped. I was not
handling the dead-stop traffic well at all. (Thanks to Kait for keeping a more positive attitude than me.) Once we finally got home, I tried to take a hard look at why
I get so worked up in traffic. My immediate answer was because it feels like a complete waste of time - there are so many better things I could think of doing with the hour I just burned staring at downtown tail-lights. Does it go deeper than that, though?
I think it does.
I've realized that being frustrated with sitting in traffic is ultimately saying to God that I have a much better idea of how my day is supposed to go than He does. If I'm concerned about how traffic is going to cut into my time elsewhere, I'm denying that His governing over my life is the absolute best that I could ask for.
I know that traffic is a great place to learn and express patience, and can also be a way that God is protecting us from all sorts of things that might have happened had we not been slowed down. But it really boils down to His plan for my day vs. my plan for my day. If I'm not submitting and asking for His guidance in the steps I take, then I probably won't be happy with how the day turns out since I'll be convinced that something different should've happened.
"Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand" (Prov. 19:21). The purpose of the Lord will stand, no matter if my plans line up with His or not. If I let Him design my day, then there will be no fuss about it. If I design it without His guiding, then I'll probably get frustrated when His plan ultimately overrides mine. Like the traffic yesterday.
Elisabeth Elliot sees it this way: "There is always time to do the will of God. Lord, help me to take Your yoke on my shoulder, not a yoke of my own making." Kait & I could've been praying for each car around us, asking God to lead us in how we should be respondinin that moment. Instead, I totally botched it by having a crabby attitude. I'm thankful that He forgives moments of failure like that.
Thank Him for His promise that if we draw near to Him, He will draw near to us (James 4:8). Even in traffic. Even in dead-stop, gridlock traffic.
Redeem your commute. Give it to Jesus. No better hands to leave it in.