I remember playing this game when I was a child. Did you ever play it?
One person was “it”. She got to give the commands:
- “Red Light!” And everyone had to stop.
- “Green Light!” And everyone got to go again.
The first person that reached the person who was “it” got to be “it”, and everyone would go back to the starting line and the game began again with the new commander.
Well, recently I have found myself, (I’m ashamed to admit), being impatient, especially in traffic. I’ve found myself in a hurry, sometimes in traffic, and sometimes in construction and traffic. This tends to make me uptight.
A few days ago, I hit every. single. red. light. on my way to pick up my kids from school.
But it got me thinking about red lights.
From the time we played red light, green light as children, to the time we took drivers ed, there seems to have been an emphasis on red meaning “stop”.
But could there be another way of thinking of red traffic signals?
- What if they also mean that we have to take turns with the other drivers?
- What if they mean that it’s not about us, but we have to share the road with others?
- What if they mean wait, it’s not your turn yet, you have to let the others go first?
I’ve found these thoughts rather freeing as I pull up to yet another red light. “It’s their turn; you have to wait,” I tell myself. This pulls me back into the reality of a shared road, which calms me down because I realize that putting others first pleases God.
“Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves.” Philippians 2:3
I really can’t picture Jesus in real life driving a car, but I think if He ever did, He would treat the other drivers with love, patience, honor, and grace.
And what about in other situations besides driving?
If He was a blogger, would He be upset that someone else had more followers than Him?
If He was an office worker or a laborer, would He be upset that someone else got promoted before Him?
If He played sports, would He fuss and fume that someone else got to start instead of Him?
If He was a school child in our modern schools, would He push and shove and say, “Me first!”
If He was a spouse or a parent, would He pout or yell if He didn’t get His way?
No. He would not.
So there you have it. Red light means put off the carnal attitude and start letting the Spirit of God move you to love others and to show them honor.
And it means, wait on God’s timing, and don’t be upset if someone else gets to the finish line before you.
Can you think of other things it could mean? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.
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