I sat at the ‘road construction’ sign, waiting my turn to cross the two-block stretch of road that would take me home. I had worked late, was tired and had a Bible Study to attend.
The road had been torn up for weeks, occasionally shut off entirely and by now, passing through the ‘local traffic’ area was a slow, bumpy and cautious process, to say the least.
A truck pulled up behind me, honked impatiently and I thought, 'Mister, I’m sitting here for a reason, not because I have nothing better to do.' I was tempted to honk back but thought better of it.
The road split into two lanes but only one was passable because of the horrendous potholes full of water and the ridges left by the road crew. As I slowly moved to the left lane (the only passable one), the impatient driver behind me whipped around me into the right lane, racing ahead.
I noticed he had a camper shell resting upside down in the back of his pickup. As I observed the camper bouncing wildly in space, I was amazed to see it take a wide flip, pitch violently into the air several feet and fling over the right side of the truck, rolling over and over and landing on a paved parking lot. The truck tore on ahead, totally oblivious of having lost its’ valuable cargo. It all happened so fast that I doubt he would have stopped, had I honked. He would probably have figured I was just giving a ‘return honk’ to his.
I felt a bit sad. Surely this act of impatience would prove to be a costly one. It all seemed to be so unnecessary. I had a sense of disappointment for the individual involved.
And then, the realization that this is the way our lives are, sometimes, drew me back to the moment. Surely, at times our Lord lets us ‘just sit still’ for a time because he can see the situations and conditions that lay ahead. But, how often have we become impatient and ‘raced’ ahead on our own with little or no sensitivity to the conditions and situations around us. Our foresight is so limited.
After we bounce along the bumpy way, in and out of one ‘pothole’ after the other, getting bruised and thumped here and there, we find how much wiser and safer it would have been to have waited until the Lord gave us the ‘go ahead’ signal.
We then find ourselves doing as I observed, from my driveway, the driver of the truck doing – racing back, just as fast, retracing his steps, attempting to find what he had lost. Oh yes, he did retrieve his precious merchandise, but – at such an expense.
Help us, Father, to be ever mindful that ‘You order our steps’ (Ps. 37:23) and to ‘wait patiently for You’ (Ps. 37:7).