Hands up who loves traffic jams? Nope? Me either; like it’s so much harder to have your own private concert in the car when you’re sitting in bumper to bumper traffic with the guy in the car beside you staring in laughing at you as you beat the steering wheel while singing ‘This is me’ at the top of your lungs, right?
It seems like everywhere you go at the minute there are road works, delays, diversions and road closures.
we hate the old bumpy roads. Those darn potholes that leave you feeling like you have lost a whole wheel. And yet at the same time, we get so annoyed by diversions and roadworks and queues and traffic. There is no pleasing some folks!
This week, as I was driving the road that I needed to turn down to get home, had one of those dreaded yellow follow diversion signs with a big red road closed ahead sign beside it.
What a major pain in the rear. This particular diversion would easily add at least another fifteen minutes to my journey. I was already in the lane of traffic for the blocked road, and it would mean sitting waiting to get back out of that lane again. So you guessed it! I turned onto the road anyway. Hey, I thought. Sure I’d chance my arm and go down the road anyway, it was possible the road signs didn’t apply right at this moment. Or maybe they had just laid the signs out in advance. I thought all different types of scenarios perhaps it wasn’t the time that the road was closed, maybe I can get along the road before where it is closed, or the road is blocked. Maybe the work was already complete, and the workers just hadn’t removed the signs yet. And besides I could see some other cars along the road and I thought it might be okay for me to just follow them; if it’s good enough for them it’s good enough for me. ( not the first time I’ve fallen for that one the old follow the leader pitfall). I completely ignored all the warning signs that the road was closed and off-limits to me. (you’re rolling your eyes, right?)
So off I went down the road. I got along the road for 2 miles. I thought, oh yes, that’s great. I’ve outsmarted the system and it’s paid off. I don’t have to go round the diversion. Smart one Terri! I praised myself. Just as I’m approaching the very end of the road, my smug, all-knowing, proud grin slid from my face as I noticed the road in front of me was indeed as warned completely blocked. There was absolutely no way I could get through. No diversion at this end. I was left with no option but to turn round and drive the whole way back to the start when I first saw the warning signs.
I’d love to tell you I took it on the chin and gently scolded myself for my stupidity and drove back calmly with the lesson learnt. Now, what would be the fun in that?
No, course not! I ranted and raved to myself about the stupid road. That dumb road authority blocking off the road, causing me this inconvenience. I raged about the road works and the workers. I was mad at myself for not taking heed of the signs even though I had been warned well in advance. I had passed maybe six signs along the way to warn me that the road was closed. Warning me that I needed to turn and go back, that I had to return to the original diversion, and I ignore them all. I probably even ranted at God for not giving me the “prompting.”
Prize idiot here had wasted time, I had wasted money on petrol, I was now stupid late and rushing. I was frustrated and angry. It was all completely unnecessary, and I only had myself to blame, my stupidity, my ignorance. My arrogance that it didn’t apply to me, that I could bend the rules or if others could do it so could I. had allowed me to go down a road, to ignore all the warning signs that I was not to continue down that road. And I kept going until I could go no farther and had to turn around and go back to the very start.
My hand jabbed the off button on the car stereo a little harder than usual to mute the overly cheery music blasting, so I could travel back down the road in my own silent fury, in my rage, I got thinking about how I’ve done this in my life before. Not the actual road works thing but how I’ve had warning signs not to go down a certain “road” path, route, and how I’d ignored the warnings and proceeded on that road until I could go no further and there was no way forward and my only option was to turn and go back to where I started from.
Not always the sharpest tool in the box Terri?
What about, Learning from your mistakes? once bitten
But because this is a blog and not a book, I couldn’t go into all the bad experiences of times that I have headed down roads in my Christian life. Roads that have had warning signs I chose to ignore, in which I kept going despite knowing in my heart that there would be a full-on blockage at the end of the road. A blockage that would cause internal rage, anger and hurt towards others, rants at God and more than likely a major set back from where I could have actually been had I not have been at a roadblock.
You know when you have that feeling in your gut, you know when that particular scripture repeatedly comes up, when that trusted friend kindly speaks from a place of love and questions your decisions and gives you some wisdom, and you still chose to ignore them all.
So many times, we find ourselves in these predicaments. in these messes because we ignored the warning signs to stop and go back. Do not proceed
Do not proceed down the road of buying clothes you can’t afford on the credit card you already can’t afford the monthly repayments for.
Do not proceed down the road to going out with that group of friends at the weekend that takes drugs.
Do not proceed down the road of that application to the job that’s going to cause more stress and less time with your family.
Do not proceed down the road of keeping that number in your phone that you call when you need company when you’re lonely.
Do not proceed down that road that sees you taking your tablet to bed every night to search websites you know you’ll feel guilty for the next day.
God didn’t give us the Bible as a big old book of rules to keep us like little puppets and do everything we are told. Our Pastor doesn’t spend all week preparing a message, to give us a beamer in church and feel make us feel bad about ourselves. Our friends don’t offer wisdom to come across superior. Holy Spirit doesn’t prompt you to stop to be a party pooper.
God has left us the Bible not as a set of rules but as guidelines to living by so we can live our best life. Our Pastors want to help advance us and help us grow closer to God and bring him glory. Our friends want to protect us. The Holy Spirit wants to lead us and guide us to our ultimate purpose in Christ.
I encourage you to listen and look out for these warning signs in your own life. And ACT on them!. It may seem like it’s holding you back, like it’s going to take longer to get to what you want, but it’s better to get God’s will for your life than waste all that time travelling down a road to a dead end. Yes, it’s going to take longer to get those beautiful shoes you really want. It might take time before you find that right group of friends, or that dream job or the right relationship. It may just feel like God is not listening to your prayers. Like it’s a No or that your heart’s desires don’t matter to God. But maybe it’s just a case of God wanting to extend your journey to a different road that will take just a little longer than you thought initially. And this is frustrating, especially when others get to go on that shorter road, but it will not be as disappointing and painstaking as going down the wrong way and having to start all over again.
“Listen well to wise counsel and be willing to learn from correction so that by the end of your life you’ll be known for your wisdom.”
Proverbs 19:20 TPT