Road construction – the bane of summer in Illinois.
There is an Arabic saying: “Man plans; God laughs.” Well I am sure there was some laughing going on when I moved from Plainfield (where I was surrounded by road con-struction) to Shorewood, where I thought there was none. And a week before I was to move, they closed the street by my new place and tore it all up, so once again I was surrounded by construction.
And it seems that anywhere we need to go, we are dealing with road construction – especially the never-ending “improvements” of Route 59. How do YOU deal with sitting in a long line of cars, stuck in road construction traffic? Many of us, I am sure, sit and fume. We probably swear, and get all upset. Maybe we check our voice messages, or send some texts on our cell phones. We listen to the news or music on the radio, or pop in a CD. But for the most part, being delayed by road construction traffic is a big negative.
A few Sundays ago, I was headed for Indiana on I-80 to meet my friend John for a baseball game. Sure enough, when I got to Cline Avenue, there were six lanes of traffic stopped, dead still. It would end up taking me more time to get to my exit than it took for me to get to Indiana.
For a while, I was upset – we had a very small window of opportunity to get to the game on time, and I was fretting while I sat there, unable to move.
And then I thought – “Wait a minute…here I am getting all upset about being late for a BASEBALL GAME. What’s wrong with this picture? In the grand scheme of things, isn’t it more important to arrive safely than not at all?”
Then I realized I had a wonderful opportunity – I couldn’t go anywhere, so I would use the time to count my blessings, as Pastor had mentioned in one of his sermons. And that’s just what I did.
I started out being thankful for the traffic jam that gave me the opportunity to sit still and be thankful. (After all, when do we take time out of our hectic schedules to do that on a regular basis?) Then I thanked God for the worship service I had just participated in, and for the blessings of being part of the Plymouth church family and for my Pastor and his wife. I thanked God for the beautiful weather, and for being able to go to the game. The more I thanked God, the more I found to be thankful for. It was a very uplifting experience.
Eventually the traffic jam broke, and I continued on to the game. We made it with a few minutes to spare, and all was well.
But I know one thing – from now on, besides praying on my way to work in the morning, I am going to use every traffic jam to be thankful and to tell God how awesome He is for blessing me so greatly and graciously…and thank you, God, for road construction!
Thanks to Jan S. (a.ka. “our fearless leader,” for writing today’s blog.)