As I was driving down 95 north on my way home around midnight on Saturday, I noticed that the traffic was unusually light. If you are familiar with 95, you know that it’s typically stop and go. I attributed the light traffic to it being late, but I kept seeing a sign that said, 3 lanes closed ahead at Exits 167-169. When I initially saw this sign, I wasn’t near the exits. I wondered if it was an old sign. After all, how bad could it be? The traffic seemed fine. As I got to exit 163, I saw another 3 lane closure sign. As I got to exit 165, I saw a sea of red lights ahead. I knew that I didn’t want to sit in that. It would’ve taken at least an hour to inch through all of that traffic. I wasn’t sure how to get around it. All I knew for certain was that I had better get off at this exit. Pull over and use my WAZE app. (Let me take a second to give WAZE a shout out… I really like this app for navigation!) It gave me 3 options to get home.
As I was following the driving directions, at times, I was on dark unfamiliar roads. But the travel was smooth. At one point during the drive, I was parallel to 95. I could see the cars at a standstill, but I was driving around 45 mph. There was a car in front and behind me. The one behind me seemed frustrated because I was driving so slowly. I couldn’t believe I was moving effortlessly and I was nervous that at any moment I was going to be in the middle of the madness. But, no… I was navigated around all of the traffic to the exit that I needed to get home. (Whoopeee!)
This drive reminds me of the way life is at times. Life will often give us signs. It’s important that we learn to acknowledge those signs and adjust our paths accordingly.
Proverbs 3: 5-6 says, Trust in the Lord with all of your heart, lean not to your own understanding. In all of your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path. When you don’t know what to do, sometimes, you’ve got to ask for help and be willing to receive it. I’m a person of faith. I believe in God and that God answers prayers. I’m learning to slow down and listen for his guidance.
For me, an answer may be a thought that seems to come from no where. It may be in a friend calling and speaking directly to a need, sometimes without me saying a word. It may even be listening to a stranger at a networking event tell me about the WAZE app, that has been so helpful to me.
Be willing to accept help. Not one of us knows it all. Sometimes just taking time to shut down our “know it all egos” can save us a lot of time in the long run. So what, if it may seem to take you a little longer to go an unconventional way. It’s better than kicking yourself in hindsight. It may be the difference between simply crossing the street to get to your destination or going all around the interstate to get there. You may still get there, but it didn’t have to take as long or be as tedious.
As we rapidly approach a new year, lets become more deliberate about reading and adjusting to the signs that we see around us. Having a willingness to adjust to the signs can save us a lot of hurt and headache.
When I was a girl, there was a cheer that we used to say that started with these 3 words: STOP, LOOK, and LISTEN! If we let this be our motto before we make decisions going forward, we will likely find ourselves a lot less frustrated with ourselves and others.
STOP– take time to pause before you make a decision. (That next job, next relationship etc.)
LOOK– look at signs in your life. When someone shows you who they are, believe them; not what you think your influence can make them.
LISTEN– whether it’s God through prayer or just asking for help and be willing to accept it; even if it hurts your pride. If there is something inside of you that is saying, “Don’t do it.” Listen and go with it. One thing my dad told me a long time ago that has worked for me, is to ask God to make your way clear if it’s what you need to do. But if you don’t need to do this, this don’t let “it” happen. Ask him to show you so that you can see clearly what your next steps should be. Try it. What do you have to lose?
God can turn the worst of our “not so good judgments” around for our good. But at some point, we have to determine that we are no longer going to make the same mistakes over and over again. When we know better, we do better. I want to be better. I’m sure you do too.
Only 16 more days until 2015!