Lessons from a Traffic Jam

So last night I'm on my way home from work in Longview. For those familiar with the area, I take I20 for about an 18 mile stretch. Well, about 7 miles into the stretch the traffic slows to a grinding halt. This is the first time it has happened since I've worked my new job, so I knew odds were I'd get stuck in traffic one day. Well, we are stopping, 5mph, stopping, you know the drill. I'm pretty patient, so I text Ginger to let her know I'll be late. Well, I see an exit come up and I figure I can make it to another road, 31, and make it home faster. I get off and follow a couple of rigs thinking they are going the same way. Against my instincts to go straight, I turn with them. Well, we go about 3 miles down the road, turn, and we are back on 20, and the backup. It is, by the way, backed up all the way to my exit, unknown to me. I got to listen to some good teachers on the radio, and though my patience was tested a few times, I made it home at 8, about 2 1/2 hours. I never did know why we were backed up, I can make a few educated guesses, but sometimes we don't know.

When things like this happen I talk to the Lord. What are you teaching me I'll say aloud. I look at it as an opportunity that maybe the Lord is trying to teach me something, or protecting me from something, etc. For those who do not believe in God this may seem like a crazy notion, but the Lord directs my path, and if God wants to use a backup as a tool to give me wisdom, who am I to complain?

So you may ask, what lessons did I learn from this? Well, the first lesson I learned was follow the instinct that God tells you in your heart instead of just following the crowd. If I would have trusted what God said (go straight) instead of following the rig, I would have made it to 31 and my journey would have been about an hour or so less. But I took the more comfortable path, following something tangible instead of trusting God's voice in my heart. I got to my destination, Ginger was praying, and I made it safely. But sometimes we choose paths, contrary to what God tells us and we wander around, going slowly. His purpose will be done, but which path we choose to take is ultimately our decision, free will.

When I got home I looked up the map and saw where I could have gone off and made my path quicker. I did research, after the fact, and now I have a plan so that if I hit another back up I have routes I can take that are different. Which leads me to the second lesson, seeking God first before decisions or paths I take. If I go to the Bible God gives me advise, and wisdom, and I have a better opportunity to choose the right paths. If I'd of had a plan or known the route beforehand, I wouldn't have been stuck in traffic so long. But sometimes I go through life, not reading the Word as much and I end up taking the round about way to the destination God wants me at, where as, if I'd of done the research before hand, I'd of made it there that much quicker. My life before Ginger was like that. I'm where God wants me now, I just took quite a few detours to get here!

Some may say, Paul, you were just stuck in traffic, why do you read into things so much? Well, you see, during this I asked the Lord, what are you trying to teach me Lord? And you see, He answered my prayer. If He wasn't trying to teach me anything then I do believe my Lord would have said to my heart, nothing, your just stuck in traffic. But I trust God, He leads my life, and I believe there are opportunities in life where God can teach us, give us glimpses of Himself. For me it is awesome to know that something as simple as traffic God can use as a tool to teach. That is how awesome My God is!

You see, it is easy to look around and see God's creation and be in awe. You look at the trees, and birds, the clouds and all around, and you see His handiwork. Sometimes, I look at the things like this and I see how much God is in control. If God can use a donkey to speak to someone, then it is my belief He can use traffic to teach as well. Call me crazy, but I don't want to be one that just follows the crowd. People at work see me as someone different, a Christian unlike one they've seen much of. I've been told I'm real, I don't just say one thing and do another, I admit my faults. I'm the quiet one, remember! And God just gave me a gentle reminder not to follow the crowd, continue to be different from the world, be real but don't conform.

And I am an individualist, an artist who at one time wanted to please the crowd, still struggles at times with it, but I have more moments now where I break out of the mold and I am me. My blog has given me a voice, though I'm rather selective in who I broadcast where the location of it is. My blogging has changed in the sense of instead of writing to others, I write for the enjoyment and to log what God has done and is doing in my life. It is my journal. Yes, I enjoy the fact that my Mum and Dad read it, if for the fact that they get to see how God is moving in my life. I love the fact that Ginger loves proofing my blogs. Rarely do I change the content, usually it is grammatical errors that she finds (she is sooo like my Mom!). And I gain new friends who read my blog and sometimes I hear how it has helped them in some way. But my greatest enjoyment is when I sit back and read it and realize God is working in my life. I look at the words I've written and realize God is very real in my life and is doing amazing things in it. I've been told I have a gift for writing, and maybe I do, but I have to believe that it is because God is sitting right next to me, enjoying a glass of cranberry juice with me, sharing what He is doing in my life, and I'm writing those words. It is awesome to know that the Creator of the Universe, the omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent God of the universe would take time to sit down with me and take the time to spend time with me as I write these words. In other words, He is not so busy with everything that He can't take time to love on me and share with me. How awesome is that?


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