“For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.” (1 Corinthians 14:33 KJV)
I sat on the edge of my seat, tense, with my hands clenched onto its piped edges. The faded vinyl was torn in spots revealing tufts of yellowed foam from beneath. Every click of the meter raised the fare and my frazzled nerves. This taxi was a perpetrator of gridlock and I was an innocent victim!
New York City is an entanglement of traffic and people, all in a hurry to get somewhere. At every intersection, a gripping phenomenon called gridlock looms about as frantic truck drivers, taxis, cars and pedestrians attempt to beat the light. The result—after several light changes the mess of traffic cannot proceed in any direction. Often involving ten to fifteen vehicles, gridlock can only be unlocked by a police officer who quickly issues a citation to each driver he frees.
I glanced up at a warning sign swinging between the traffic lights that read, “DO NOT CAUSE GRIDLOCK” and watched as it began to rain.
“Here’s the fare. Thanks for the ride.” I handed the driver his money and darted out into the cold rain. The damp smell of concrete and fumes from the traffic were welcome sensations. Now I would make my appointment, a little soggy, but I’d be on time
Confusion, hurrying, and outright ignorance to the warning signs can cause gridlock in your life. Too many directions and not enough focus will entangle you, causing you to become a victim. Our God is not a confusing God. He wants His people to live untangled lives and keep their focus above.
It might be time to step back and unlock the snarled areas of your life and let the Lord direct your paths. As you encounter the intersections of life proceed with caution and “DO NOT CAUSE GRIDLOCK!”
New York City Gridlock Facts:
“Gridlock.” Some holidays with parades, the Christmas season and visits by the President or foreign dignitaries cause major traffic jams in Manhattan because of the traffic volume or street closings. The city issues a “gridlock day warning” asking people not to drive into the city. A “gridlock” occurs when there are so many cars that no traffic can move because all the streets are filled. If you “block the box” on a gridlock alert day, you will definitely get a ticket.
“Remember that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize. You also must run in such a way that you will win.” (1 Corinthians 9:24 NLT)
I was just finishing the second to last lap of my three-mile jog, and I was definitely feeling the pain. Every pore in my body was sweating profusely. My face was red. And, I was huffing and puffing quite loudly. It had been a few days since I’d run, and my body was like, “Hey, what are you doing? You’re hurting me! Quit pushing so hard!”
As I pushed through the pain for the final lap, I noticed a big ole buzzard circling overhead. I had to laugh. It was as if that buzzard were waiting for me to keel over. I guess I must’ve looked worse than I felt. At any rate, I was just stubborn enough to run the last lap even harder than I’d run the 11 previous laps. That buzzard wasn’t about to discourage me from achieving my goal.
So, have you seen any buzzards circling overhead lately? Buzzards come in many forms—negative teachers, disapproving mothers, critical friends, etc. A buzzard is anyone or anything that comes to squash your dreams and tell you that you’re not good enough. Some of you may live in homes where your parents said derogatory things to you. Or, maybe your sibling never encourages you. Or, maybe you have a friend who is always around to offer a little dig that makes you feel less than capable. No matter what form your buzzard comes in, be assured your buzzard will come. But, you have to learn to ignore those buzzards. Just block out the buzzards and press through. Run your race, and encourage yourself in the Lord.
In the Bible, David had to encourage himself. He and his men had just returned home from a daunting battle to find their camp ravaged. Their wives and children had been captured by their enemies, and their camp had been burned. David could feel the buzzards circling. Before long, his men turned on him and talked of stoning David. But, David didn’t give up. The Bible says he encouraged himself in the Lord. Guess what? Just 72 hours later, David and his men had regained their families and belongings, and David was named King.
Buzzards, schmuzzards. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by those buzzards circling overhead, just encourage yourself in the Lord and keep on pressing toward your goals. Just think what might happen in 72 hours…
Michelle Adams is a successful and award-winning author. She teaches at writers conferences across the country and shares her love of the written word with aspiring writers. Visit Michelle at www.michellemedlockadams.com