Time for a Lane Change?
I was driving home from a speaking engagement last week (actually I was fairly zipping along – keeping up with the flow of traffic, of course) when I came to a section of highway where road repair work seems to be interminable – a section where merges and lane endings act as automatic traffic slow-downs, or fender-benders zones for un-observant drivers.
It never ceases to amaze me that there are drivers who continue their open-highway speed in a lane that has clearly been marked with such signs as “Lane ends in 100 feet, merge right”. I’ve seen drivers increase their speed at the appearance of such a sign, perhaps to get ahead of as many cars as possible before merging? Don’t they realize there is a time to slow down?
Life often requires lane changes or detours at the most inconvenient and unexpected times. Lost jobs, sickness or physical injury, loss of a loved one, a failing business, lost opportunities or abilities due to aging – there are many causes for such life interferences, resulting in failed enterprises or unfulfilled dreams.
What do you do when these slow-downs, lane changes or merges happen on your road from here to who knows where? Do you keep moving on at the same speed? Do you speed up, thinking you can get further along before the inevitable merge? Do you slow down, move over and keep going ahead? Do you pull over to the side of the highway you’ve been traveling on, get out a map and see what your options are for finding a detour around the confusion?
Do you start questioning God? Asking why He let this happen to you? Doubting that He loves you? Wondering if He will abandon you to wander along on your own?
I frankly don’t believe that there are accidental merges, lane changes, or detours where God’s purpose for my life is concerned. I don’t know if our Father plans them, or if – as with Job in the Bible – God allows our enemy, Satan, to run out a bit on his leash. To question God’s ability to manage these “unexpected” events in our lives would be to doubt either His unparalleled power or His perfect love. I don’t believe that these detours are without purpose – whether they are planned or merely permitted.
More important than our “happiness” or “success in life” is the character that is being built into us – the image of Christ stamped on us. And, perhaps more important than our character development is the awakening of our spirits to be able to comprehend as much as humans can, the character and nature of God himself, and our relationship with Him as His Spirit-born children.
God does not intend to abandon us by the side of the road, to detour us to a dead-end, to slow us down in order to toy with us. But I believe that He waits on us, just as we wait on Him, to discover what His plan for us is at each particular slow-down and speed bump in our lives. He wants us to look to Him for each mile of our journey here on earth.
Whatever the slow-down, merge or detour is in your life at this time, you will be spared from unwanted fender-benders and fatal accidents by obeying the “yield” sign – conceding to God the right to direct your life, trusting that He knows the road ahead and will get you safely to your intended destination.
One of my recent teabag tags stated, “A promise is a gift in advance.”
Our heavenly Father has given us many “great and precious promises” (2 Peter 1:4); and these promises are awesome gifts that help us to navigate successfully through life.
One of the best ways to endure these seeming detours, lane changes, and slow-downs is to look for God’s promises in the Scriptures; select a promise that relates to your travel impediment, memorize and meditate on it until it stirs up faith to believe God for the mile you are on. Use those Scriptures as mile-markers in your journey.
My most recent mile markers are:
Psalm 118:2, “God is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; my God, my strength in whom I will put my trust.”
1 Peter 2:6 For in Scripture it says: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.”
What promises are getting you through?
Wherever you are headed this week, have a safe trip.
©2012, Marcy Alves
Posted on January 15, 2012, in Christian Growth, Follow Me, God Encounters, My Journey, Reflections, Uncategorized and tagged detours, highway travel, lane change, life changes, life purpose, merging traffic, questioning God, road signs, traveling highways, trust, trusting God, yielding to God. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.