The last two mornings, I've hit the red light at almost every stoplight on my way to work. This includes those dinky side streets that normally I blow right past. Each time I pulled to a stop, I grumbled, looked at my car clock, and tried not to let the tension eat at my shoulders.
This morning, as I slowed down for yet another red light, I wondered: is God teaching me a lesson?
I believe that we are given signs every single day that teach us something we need to know to live a more fulfilling, peaceful life. The problem is, we don't always recognize those signs and lose out on our chance to learn.
The lesson for the last few days? Patience.
It's a lesson I need to learn again and again. There are times when my lack of patience literally makes my shoulders bunch and spikes my blood pressure. Those are the times I need the patience and just don't have it. Lately, I've needed patience in a lot of areas. My writing. My career. My relationships (especially with men!). And since I haven't had that patience, I've struggled and wrung my hands a lot in the past few days. I've lost focus of my goals and have spent more time than necessary worrying, being frustrated, and generally being unhappy.
Result? Stoplights. God tapping on my shoulder and saying, "Patience, my child. My time, not yours."
So once again, I am having to draw back, take stock of where I'm at, do lots of praying, lots of journaling, and lots of thinking. It feels like I've been doing that a lot lately, but it's been a roller-coaster of a year.
I've come to realize that life is just like this. We ebb and flow. Sometimes, we're focused. We're at peace. We're sure of where we want to be and sure of what path to take. Other times, we get off track. We get frustrated. Then we have to stop, take a deep breath, and slowly work our way back to that moment where the world made sense. We just need the gumption to know when we need to stop instead of barreling full-speed over the cliff and ending up with a huge crash that takes us far too long to recover from.
That's where I'm at. Taking stock. Journaling. Thinking. Praying.
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