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Posted on Feb 28, 2013 at 09:56 AM



As of late my predictable mornings have been disturbed and delayed by the ever changing traffic patterns on West Main Street in Salem.  What would take me 5 min to accomplish to deposit my Hunter at the curb of his school now takes 8 minutes.  The journey then continues to the high school to take sweet Brenna to her destination.  Another 2 to 3 minutes has been graciously added to that previously swift jaunt as well.  I don't mind it actually.  Heck, I'm always late regardless of a traffic situation or my apparently newly self diagnosed ADD.  Oh, and the wonderful news is that I get to bob and weave my way back again.  Sorta like the challenge of an obstacle course.  I've been known to some as "Betty Andretti."




But there are others I spy on this adventure, grimacing behind the windshield, brows furrowed and perhaps just a tad frustrated at the ever changing landscape of the traffic patterns.  There is signage for the most part warning us in advance of the new traffic patten, but we really don't pay attention until we are right there at the spot negotiating new turns, avoiding, orange barrels and trying not to knock over those infamous bright orange traffic cones.  Frowns digging just a little deeper into the faces of those who are perturbed that their path has been changed without their permission, delaying them from their destinations....holding them up from their appointed rounds.




Its funny how we plan our future "as the crow flies."  A direct and very straight line from Point A to Point B.  Rarely thinking of the possibility of changing traffic patterns.  Extremely surprised when we have been detoured in another direction for a while, having to pause, stop and wait at times while we are on our way.  Most of the time this grieves us and we sit there fuming, sometimes beating our fists on the steering wheel, perhaps letting a few not so pretty words escape our  lips.  Some start to frantically search around for another route, taking it as a personal affront that someone or something has interfered with their destiny.  Blindly taking matters into their own hands jumping to back roads, alleys and other avenues not really caring that that its usually the same amount of time no matter what they do..just as long as they are in control of the situation.  




My inspiration for this piece came as I was negotiating a tight turn from Dougherty to Main Street...a new traffic pattern that definitely required me to slow down so as to not take out a few traffic cones.  There are quite a few of those silent, yet extremely bright fellows and I thought how they reminded me of people.  Many in number, all over, in my path, some laying on their sides, some a little dirtier than others, some damaged, but very recognizable for what they were created to be.   Admittedly, I have on occasion knocked a couple of those guys over, either in my ignorance, haste, just plain disregard because I was in a hurry to get to my future...funny how we chase the future and we never really catch it while we are barreling through our present unaware of those traffic cones.  You know where I am going with this, but I'm going to spell it out in the way I always like to do it...Sass style.  




Thinking that we have a clear and concise road map of our lives is a really sweet thing to think we have control over, but if you have a few stretchmarks, a mortgage and have paid taxes, you know that your well thought out plans have had a few new traffic patterns in there.  Some can actually be welcome instantly gratifying surprises.  Taking you a new route that was quicker, prettier & smoother than what you had intended originally, but most are bumpy, stop and go, fraught with pot holes, detours, flashing lights, fender benders, cracked windshields & frazzled nerves.  Delaying you, costing you more than just a bit more than extra gas and time.  And along the route some of those traffic cones are sacrificed as you plow over them trying to take charge of the situation.  Nobody told you this was going to be a part of your journey.  Nobody told you hold long you were going to have to endure this mess.  For days, weeks, even years.  You really have no idea how long its going to last at times, but what you do know is that you have to get through it. 




So here you are in the midst of another traffic pattern, what are you going to do with all that anger, frustration and possibly even pain as you are sitting in traffic waiting to get on with your journey?  Surrounded by orange traffic cones put there to guide you safely around the dangerous areas under construction.  Gonna knock em over, curse them, ignore them.  The extra time spent negotiating...are you going perhaps look at this as an opportunity to spend a little time with those passengers in the car, offering a kind word, getting to know each other better, or spend a little one on one time with Jesus.  The pretty wild flowers on the shoulder of the road waving at you, the scent of honey suckle coming through the vents reminding you of a sweet moment long ago, the lyrics of a song on the radio catching your attention for the first time...unexpected blessings I think those are called...hmmmmm.




We are indeed in control of our destinies...that is the gift God has given us.  He never said that the journey was going to be free of obstacles, delays, flashing lights, detours, barriers, etc.  He did, however, promise to be there for us.  Perhaps in the form of traffic cones.....gosh I kinda like those little guys.   Selah 



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