Many folks have read about an encounter I had on the road the other day. I am far too lazy to type it out again for anyone who is not on Facebook, so I thank the dear Lord for the copy and paste function on our computers:
As I waited at a left turn to enter the church I call home this evening, a woman in an suv pulled in behind me. I surveyed the oncoming traffic, and while there was a small window of opportunity approaching, I thought better of it. After all,
I have seen several accidents at this intersection, as I work at the aforementioned church. While waiting, the light turned red. This infuriated the woman behind me, who waved her hands in a "oh come on!" motion that I frequently make at the Penguins power play. Seeing she was clearly frustrated, I smiled in the rear view mirror, hoping to spread a little cheer to a clearly stressed and beleaguered woman. She waved a second time, this time with but one finger extended on each hand. The time it took you to read this was more time than we sat at the light. My concluding thoughts are thus: 1) no one should be in the kind of hurry we as Americans have adopted. And 2) smile more people. Apparently more people need it.
Now first of all, as a cyclist it scares the ever-loving junk out of me that these kind of drivers exist. If two minutes of "don't get hit by oncoming traffic" time is too much for you, I guarantee there's no way that lady leaves me the requisite 4 feet of safe passing space when cycling. ut here's my bigger point, something I've been thinking about all day since it happened: what could she have possibly been in such a hurry to get to?
Before we go too much farther down this hole, it is worth mentioning that I have been in this "hurry up I have somewhere important to be" mode before, and I hate it about myself. On Monday we went to a doctor's appointment for the twins, and I sat in the Liberty Tunnel hoping against all hope that this kind of traffic would not await us when we actually went into labor. I said words. I'm not proud. So if you're wondering if this is a little bit of the pot calling the kettle black, you're absolutely right.
But it is true that we as a culture are way too busy. For a Christian nation, we have done an extraordinary job of ignoring everything God said about a Sabbath. Like, masterful. Why? Why is it that we are in such a hurry? Why is it that we are so dang busy?
I don't know. Maybe we've let the "time is money" mantra sink into our heads really hard. Maybe there's some kind of self-worth that is tied up in our being busy. Maybe we're just used to it, we don't know any other way to live. Whatever it is, I know that the more I rely on my own busy-ness, the less I'm relying on God. Ultimately I feel sorry for the lady behind me, not angry. What kind of life must she have that 2 minutes at a light is too much? What kind of life is it for me when I refuse to take a break and rest?
Friends, take some time today to just enjoy God and who he is. Enjoy sitting in traffic, if that happens where you be reading this post. Go outside. Enjoy the creation. Whatever you do, reduce busy-ness.