I know that you can relate to this scenario: You’re driving along, approaching a traffic light when it turns red just in time for you to have to stop. Sometimes you end up in line behind someone and other times you’re at the front of the line.
Well, I’m sure you can certainly relate to being right behind the person in line, and when the light turns green, they don’t move. And you’re wondering, Why aren’t they moving?! Don’t they see that the light has changed?! You may even consider blowing your horn if they take too long because if they don’t move we’re all gonna have to wait through another cycle of watching the light change for everyone else before it comes back around to us. I’ve even had the experience of being 2nd in line and the front person moved just in time for only them and no one else to get through! I know how very frustrating and upsetting that is! (Keep reading…there’s a point coming.)
But has that person who’s first in line ever been you? Maybe once or twice, it’s been me. I know how very embarrassing that is. It makes me want to go back and apologize to the people that I held up. Now, to my knowledge, I don’t think that I’ve ever looked up and moved in time to be the only one to make it across though.
Well, lately when this happens I start thinking about how being in the line waiting for the traffic light is so much like our lives. We’re either at the front of the line or we are in line with someone behind us. Regardless, there’s someone counting on us to do what we’re supposed to so they can move on ahead.
I can think of numerous examples that I can relate to this but this is the one that came to my mind: Those people that were at the front of the line (myself included) or had someone behind them and didn’t move when the light turned green had to have been distracted–on the phone, lost in thought, fidgeting with the radio or the a/c, dropped something and at just the wrong time it took their attention away.
And here’s the personal thought that I had: a leader has to remain focused on what’s in front of them while being aware of what’s behind too. If they take their attention off, even if it’s for a good reason, it may throw things off completely. I’m a teacher and I have to do my very best to stay on top of the things that are priorities or else it will have a domino effect on everything else in my life–my students will not receive quality instruction, their parents will not get quality feedback, and it hinders progress and causes the people following you or relying on you to miss out on something.
Man, that’s not a good feeling. So, when I’m at the light, especially if I’m first, I try to focus on the light and when it says to go, I make sure my foot is ready to press the gas, so that as many people as possible can get through. Another thing to think about is our Christian walk and how we have people following us of which we sometimes aren’t aware. So, it would be wise for us to keep our eyes on the “Light” and wait until He says go and when He says go, we should be ready to take off.
One way that we can keep our eyes on the “Light” is studying God’s word, so we’ll recognize God in all things. His word lights our path and guides our feet. We can pray that we keep our eyes on the “Light” and follow where it leads. We can think on or meditate on the “Light” of God’s word. We can also tell others about the light, being a light ourselves–showing someone the way. By doing these things, we make it so that as many people as possible (ourselves) included can “get through” whatever situations life brings.
(Click here for more on “being the light.”)