Initiative thought for today: TRAFFIC
Simply the word gives most, including me, either rage or anxiety.
Traffic in a large city, like Dallas, is something that just puts people in the worst mood and is the catalyst in the mind to ruin one’s day. I once heard Grant Skeldon say, “If you don’t love your city, then how can you love your neighbor?” Loving our city in its entirety means even loving the horrendous traffic. That sounds ridiculous, but think about how good it would be for our hearts, and our witness, if we saw traffic as a good thing.
I can’t imagine what others are thinking when they pass me and I have a hateful scowl on my face. I bet they question the purpose of the cross sticker that I display proudly on my back window. That isn’t loving my neighbor well when I wish them the worst in my heart after they cut me off or don’t let me in their line.
We have such pressing schedules these days. So much so that a traffic jam will throw us off entirely. Sitting in traffic for an hour sets off our entire week! This is frustrating. We need a new perspective of traffic. Allowing our hearts to become entangled in bitterness over something as silly as slowing down for a while is an issue. Truly, most of us hate traffic because it doesn’t fit to our schedule; as if we are living on our own time.
Believe it, or not, there is opportunity in traffic:
- If you’re with others in the car: Take this as a time to strike up conversation about things that matter and get to know them better. What a glorious time to invest in others whether you are carpooling, hanging with a friend, or whatever. There is opportunity for fellowship and digging into different topics.
- If you’re alone in the car: Take this time to pray and worship. Traffic has completely changed for me when I decided to start listening to worship in the midst of it. I find it harder to be pessimistic and frustrated when I have so much to be joyful for each day. God is quick to supply peace when we ask it. Praying during traffic is perfect. Often we forget to just talk to God like a friend. Our prayer life has become lists and not casual conversation. He desires to hear from you, no matter the place or circumstance. It is nice to just sit and talk about what’s going on in your heart, especially when it’s obvious you’re not going anywhere!
- You’re representing Christ in your city: So, maybe you don’t have a cross on your car or anything tying you to Christ, but that shouldn’t matter. As believers, we are called to be love, no matter the circumstance. So, when a car cuts you off or someone is just fed up and gives you the finger, don’t return the hate. Bitterness in any form makes a home for darkness. Nothing of Christ can be produced from bitterness.
Traffic is something that happens due to wrecks, construction, or many people getting to one place at once. It is not something that you can wish away or solve by anger. In acknowledging this, our mindset about traffic should shift. We cannot control it, but we can control how we approach it. So, next time you’re in good ol’ Dallas traffic, allow your heart to wander into worship, whatever that looks like for you. See it as an opportunity.