Something MANY of us can relate to.
There are just a handful of things that help us get through traffic. For me, it can be a talk with Jesus, a podcast, or a throwback song.
I like to think about my thought life as getting through traffic on a thought highway. There are moments where you have that reckless driver that causes you to become a vicious wolf, or there can be that bubbly person on the phone, with their car speaker so loud you hear every word – yet it brings a chuckle to your heart. There are so many things that can run through our mind, that move a lot like traffic.
There is that one person who is in front of you that just WILL NOT let you go through. This person is a lot like that thought or mindset that is looking for a dwelling place in our minds, and just won’t get out of the way. What we dwell on will eventually determine our actions. Proverbs 23:7 says, “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” I have a time or two or twenty, have been close to hitting the car in front of me from trying to get around these kinds of people. But what if I just simply slowed down? It is almost guaranteed that the car is just going to get further. I believe many times the solution to these mental gymnastics is just slowing down.
You may say, “What about everyone behind me?!” – which can be interpreted as, “Life is just jamming my mind!”
Well, there is peace for that. Interesting enough, Jesus told us to “not let [our] hearts be troubled” (John 14:27). Notice the “let” part? We are responsible for what dwells in our hearts. Yeah, something may drive-by, but it doesn’t have to park. This can be an emotional temptation of the soul, which happens with music, mental temptation, which happens with comparison, or physical temptation, which happens with self-immodesty. These are just a few examples.
Biblical peace implies a sense of tranquility (Strong’s Greek 1515). But things must be TRANQUILIZED to become tranquil. God’s presence in our lives truly has a tranquilizing effect on us. But many who do not engage with God actively seek other forms of tranquilizers – be it Netflix binges, unhealthy relationships, Instagram scrolling, or getting lost in Youtube like it’s Narnia, to name a few. Drugs and alcohol can be easy to pick on, but Paul contends that believers should not allow themselves to “be brought under the power of [anything]” (1 Corinthians 6:1-12). God TRULY wants us to live a life of TOTAL FREEDOM.
No troubling traffic…ever.
From this recent Thanksgiving break for the local schools, traffic was really cut back. I had WISHED I wasn’t working from home and had driven to work because of the lack of traffic! How crazy is that?!
Because I believe there is an enjoyment we can all benefit from when we see that progress is being made on a journey where traffic is not our enemy. I have had some amazing times in crazy traffic before, because I focused on the progress, and not the delay. I’ve heard it put this way, “delay is not denial.” In fact, it would even make the time for that evening more valuable. We get to choose whether or not we will view delay as a depreciation of our present or an appreciation of the future. But I will further that thought and say that our present perspective is what actually shapes our future.
I know, traffic is inevitable at times, whether you use Google Maps, Waze, Apple Maps, or…Mapquest? And people don’t always use their blinkers, so you don’t know what circumstances will throw at you. But we are oftentimes trying to find a way around it, because I believe we want to feel like we are making progress.
Yes, we all will face a flood of challenging thoughts at times. But ever heard of marking email as spam? You can do that with thoughts on the Thought Highway too.
Just a reminder: the enemy of your soul cannot read your thoughts. Here is an extension of that, the devil does not know which thoughts you dwell on that he introduces, except by your words and behavior. You can have progress in your life in times of heavy traffic. Flying cars haven’t arrived yet. But if the treasure of your heart is in heaven, then the traffic of this life cannot deny you.