We’ve all been there. You’re in a hurry to get somewhere and the world’s slowest person is in front of you. Maybe it’s the guy who is non-stop flirting with the checkout girl, the little old lady who can’t seem to reach the gas peddle, or the person with “tummy troubles” in the single-stall bathroom. The result is the same… you can’t get where you want to go as quickly as you’d like. It’s as if the universe is conspiring to make you slow down.
The other day, I was stuck behind a concrete truck on my way to work. I followed him more than half of my trip, causing me to travel at speeds about one-third of what I might have otherwise.
You can probably imagine how that might feel… a certain someone (whom I love very much but shall remain nameless;-) would have thrown out a few choice words and maybe even some hand gestures about
five two minutes in. He’s not alone. I noticed another frustrated driver quickly swerve down a side road in an attempt to find another way around the truck. As he made that bold move, he almost got hit by oncoming traffic.
My heart-rate increased just watching the near-accident. In that moment, I wondered if maybe some of the obstacles we encounter each day are placed there intentionally… perhaps when God needs us to slow down, particularly when we’ve gotten ahead of ourselves, in order to fulfill his purposes.
A connecting flight narrowly missed.
A doctor’s appointment running late.
The sick co-worker who can’t finish her part of the project.
Another person taking her good-old-time turning in paperwork you need.
A slow truck you can’t seem to avoid.
What would it look like for me to embrace such a slow down as part of his plan for my day, to see where they take me and who I can love along the way? What if I offered more grace than dirty looks, perhaps even adding a thank you when I hit those slow downs?
…or short cut?
Had I followed my frustrations and that other driver around the slow truck and ended up in the ER, I most certainly would not have gotten to work on time. What if something I perceive to be a slow down is actually just what I need to get where I’m supposed to be?
Something to ponder:
Is there something you feel is impeding your forward progress toward wherever you want to go? Could that slow down be God’s short cut to a different path he’s been prompting you to see?