Tag Archives: traffic

The Right Decision

As a person who spends a lot of time driving, I’m forced to make a lot of fast decisions. When people suddenly brake, I have to decide to slam on mine or change lanes. I also have another fast decision to make. Do I bless them or curse them? I would love to say that I hand out more blessing than cursing in traffic. The truth is, in those moments, we default to calling the other person a name, yelling at them, gesturing at them, and or using our vehicle to inform them we don’t like their driving.

In the book of Ruth, Boaz had to make a quick decision. He knew who Ruth was and what she had done for Naomi, so he was very kind to her. On one certain night, Naomi told Ruth, “Now do as I tell you—take a bath and put on perfume and dress in your nicest clothes. Then go to the threshing floor, but don’t let Boaz see you until he has finished eating and drinking. Be sure to notice where he lies down; then go and uncover his feet and lie down there. He will tell you what to do” (Ruth 3:3-4 NLT).

Imagine Boaz sleeping after a hard day’s work and then being woken up by someone pulling the covers off his feet. More than that, he notices it’s a woman. His thoughts may have been, “What if someone sees me laying with a woman?” They could have been, “How dare a servant take my covers!” Whatever they were, when he made a quick decision, it was to bless and not to curse. He told Ruth, “The LORD bless you, my daughter!” Boaz exclaimed. “You are showing even more family loyalty now than you did before, for you have not gone after a younger man, whether rich or poor.”

Boaz not only blessed her, he admitted that there was another family member who was a closer relative to her than he was. Boaz was willing to give up Ruth because it was the right thing to do. He acted with integrity and with a heart that blessed before it cursed. Each of us should adopt that kind of heart. As followers of Christ, we should be about blessing instead of cursing, giving instead of receiving, loving instead of judging, and building instead of tearing down. Our light shines brightest when it blesses. Proverbs 11:25 says, “The one who blesses others is abundantly blessed; those who help others are helped” ‭(MSG‬‬).

Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

Throwback Thursday is a feature I’m using to help build some margin into my schedule to pursue other writing ventures. Each Thursday I’ll be bringing you a previously written devotional that still speaks encouragement to us from God’s Word.

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Looking Ahead

Throwback Thursday is a new feature I’m using to help build some margin into my schedule to pursue other writing ventures. Each Thursday I’ll be bringing you a previously written devotional that still speaks encouragement to us from God’s Word.

Since I live in a major US city, I get to experience traffic on my daily commute. Because of that, my eyes have been trained to look at the car right in front of me when I drive. If you’ve ever taken Driver’s Ed or Defensive Driving, you know that’s not a healthy driving habit. You should be looking about 10 to 30 seconds ahead while driving. People who drive with their eyes looking at their immediate situation tend to have more wrecks and tickets. Plus, I find it scares your wife a lot!

What’s true in driving, is true in life. There are people who get so caught up in their current situation that they lose sight of the future. Their present situation is all they can see, and they’re constantly living in fear of having an emotional wreck. Because they haven’t trained their eyes to look forward, it’s hard to imagine a positive future. Life becomes an emotional roller coaster with a pessimistic view of the world. That’s exhausting and not how God wants us to live our lives.

God wants us to train our eyes to look beyond our present circumstances and troubles. He wants us to look further down the road so we can see that our current situation is only temporary. In the bigger picture, we can see His hand directing our life with purposeful movement. II Corinthians 4:18 says, “So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever” (NLT).

When your current situation becomes overwhelming, look ahead to joy that’s coming because what you’re going through now is only temporary. This too shall pass. God uses these times to build character, perseverance, endurance and hope in us. Each circumstance you go through has a purpose that God is using for your good and for the good of others. The next time you get caught up looking at the present, remind yourself to look ahead. You are more than your present situation. There’s a bigger picture God is working on.

Photo by Dmitry Ratushny on Unsplash

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Delayed

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When you travel as much as I do, you’re bound to have days like I had yesterday. I left Mobile, AL early to get to New Orleans, LA for a noon flight. When it was time to board the plane, they said there was a short delay. Twenty minutes later, the incoming flight landed and deplaned. As soon as the announcer said we had to wait due to weather, the pilot walked up and said to let us board. Once we were on board, plans changed. The weather got bad again in Atlanta, GA where we were heading. We had a 45 minute delay on the plane now.

When the 45 minute delay was up, they came on and said it would be longer. People, like me, started to wonder about our connecting flights. The flight attendant got on the intercom and addressed our concerns. Not only were flights not being let into Atlanta, flights weren’t being let out either. So most of us should make our connections. When we finally got to Atlanta, the airport was crazy. Crowds of people were packed around each gate. People were frantically running. People were on their phones explaining to others what was happening. Above all, they were upset.

Aside from getting to my intended destination several hours later than I planned, there were no real hiccups. It looked like most of us were in the same boat. We were going to get to our destination, just not at the time we had hoped for or anticipated. I’ve learned (am learning!) not to get worked up when things don’t happen according to my time table. God is in control and this is a reminder of that.

If God had intended for me to get to my destination at the time I had planned and prepared for, He would have made a way. Who knows what all is going on behind the scenes that I can’t see? God could cause a delay to make sure I crossed paths with someone, open a door of communication to share His love with someone that wouldn’t have been there otherwise or to save a life from a disaster that could have occurred. The truth is, we may never know why we are delayed by traffic, weather or whatever so there’s no sense in getting upset and angry over something out of our control.

Delays aren’t a surprise to God. He knew when I got up yesterday what time I would arrive at my destination. The delay was built into His plan for my life. Getting upset and angry over it could put me on the opposite side of the argument from God. That’s not where I want to be. I’m sure that’s not where you want to be either. Learning to trust God through delays is something we all have room to improve on. Trusting Him when His answers are delayed takes even more faith.

How do you respond when you are delayed? Is there room for improvement? How do you react when the “deadline” passes and God hasn’t answered yet? Do you feel angry? Disappointed? Hurt? We may not understand now why we are delayed or why God delays in answering us, but we can trust in the fact that He is in control and we are not. He knows what is best for us even when we can’t see it. Trust Him through your delays and watch your faith grow. You’ll be a happier person because of it.

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Today’s Traffic

There were several stalled vehicles on the roads this morning. They caused traffic jams that slowed everyone down. It took me nearly double the time to get to work today that it normally takes. It’s frustrating. Why can’t they get a tow truck and move them from the lanes quickly so the rest of us can get to work on time? Once a backup starts in rush hour, it’s hard for the freeways to recover.

When I got past the last stalled vehicle, I wanted to honk and yell, “Push your car into that parking lot!” Just then, I started to think about how many people are stalled in life and are on my path. Do I see them as impediments to where I’m trying to get to? Do I see them as wrecking my schedule and wasting my time? What if God put them in my path and I just speed around them?

I know what it’s like to be stalled, to be broken down on the side of the road of life. There were many who passed me by. In effect, they were saying, “Get your wrecked life out of my way. You’re slowing me down.” They didn’t care to stop and help. They saw me as someone who would require a lot of their time and throw off their schedule. I’m sure many avoided me and took other roads in order to avoid crossing my path. That’s how life is. That’s how we are. That’s how I am.

There were others though, who saw my wrecked life, and came to the rescue. They didn’t just see someone on the side of the road broken down. They saw a friend in need. They saw a stranger who looked down and needed help. They offered words of encouragement. They offered a helping hand. They gave me a push to get me going again. They showed the love of Christ without even knowing it. They didn’t see me as a waste of their time, they saw me as the reason for their time.

I wonder how many of us remember that we are called to love. We are called to help others. As Christians, other people’s lives are the reason we are here. Somehow we forget that as we go along our lives and get caught up in making a living, taking care of our families and securing finances to live a better life. We forget that this world is not our home. We start building our treasure here instead if in Heaven when we forget that.

In the story of the Good Samaritan, it was the religious people who saw the man on the side of the road and passed him by. It was the religious men who went to the other side. They forgot what they were called to do. They forgot their reason for being here. Instead, it was a Samaritan who helped. Someone who had no reason to help, had compassion and took the time to bring healing to the man whose life had been wrecked and was stuck on the side of the road.

Today, my prayer is for me and you to open our eyes to those who are hurting, wrecked or stalled in life. May God use us to help them along and to bring healing. May we not see them as a distraction, traffic or a hindrance to what we need to accomplish. Instead, let us be open to have compassion, to be used of God and to help bring healing to someone in our path today who desperately needs it. Don’t pass someone by today thinking they are wasting your time. They were put there by God and are the reason for your time.

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