Monday, February 18, 2013

Worshipful - at a stoplight

I'm driving. Maybe I'm running a bit behind. I approach an intersection and - darn! - the light turns yellow. Quick decision: mash the gas and sail on through? Or ease onto the brakes, and stop?
Now it's red - and it's one of those long ones. Waiting. I hate waiting. Maybe I try to respond quickly to an email. Still red; the digital clock is rushing forward and I am not.

Finally - finally! - back to green. But... the knucklehead in front of me isn't going. Head's down - he's texting! Do I lay on the horn as my blood pressure surges?

Jesus understands. He was the Savior of the world, which had to be a pretty demanding job, his work never done, places to get to. And yet when the light turns red, I suspect Jesus wishes we might exhale, thank God, and just let a little Sabbath moment happen in the craziness of the traffic thicket. "Be still, and know that I am God" (Psalm 46:10). Instead of reaching for the phone (or continuing to peck the thing if you've stupidly been doing so prior to the red light!), remember that not everything hinges on me and my frenetic busy-ness. God has the world well in hand. Being worshipful begins when we simply stop.

Jesus' Bible repeatedly reminded us about this, like a clock chiming the hours. "For God alone my soul waits; I shall not be moved" - or "rattled" (Psalm 62:1). "Those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength" (Isaiah 40:31). "I wait for the Lord like a watchman for the morning" (Psalm 130:6). But maybe I'm hustling to go do something for God! "They also serve who only stand and wait" (John Milton).

The gracious blessing of the red light can be the saving mercy, when we think like Jesus, and relish an unchosen but worshipful moment. My car - becomes a sanctuary?