Saturday, August 20, 2011

Couldn't see the forest for the trees...

It seems like it never fails that when I’m running behind, I end up behind the slowest vehicles on the road. One morning recently, it was a logging truck. It’s always tempting to complain when that happens, but I try to remind myself that in ALL things, God works for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). So far, it helps to keep me calm when it seems there’s always a car in the other lane when passing may have been possible (or at least calmer than I would be otherwise).
            On the way to work that day, I wondered if maybe God was protecting me from something by slowing me down, so I tried to just relax and be ok with getting there when I could get there. I eventually arrived and of course, the day went on just fine.
            That evening, as I left work, I ended up behind yet another slow-moving logging truck. Seriously? What are the odds?? I wondered if God had something else for me to see. I certainly couldn’t see very far in front of me. Talk about not being able to see the forest for the trees! I did my best to accept the slower pace and let my mind wander.
            Accepting a slower pace isn’t always easy to do. In fact, it’s rarely easy to do; especially when there’s somewhere you really want to be. As I followed the logs, I thought of where I was headed. I know the road pretty well and knew my destination, but not being able to see the view unobstructed changed my perception a bit. It’s easy to get impatient when something is blocking the path. It’s harder to anticipate the curves.
            This year has had so many twists and turns. A friend described it well the other day when she labeled it as “intense.” The pain has been intense, and so has the joy: all at the same time. We’re still facing twists and turns. Even so, I keep feeling like we’re on the verge of something wonderfully big, but we’re stuck behind a logging truck. I can’t see around it and it’s hard to not become impatient. I keep hoping the destination is just around the next curve, but it seems like I still have a long way to go.
            I’m comforted in knowing that even though I can’t see what’s just past the logging truck, God knows because He has plans for us. He’s allowed us to face trials along the way so we’ll be prepared to face whatever’s coming up. If we were allowed to rush along at our own pace, we may miss out on some key ingredient to the bigger picture. Maybe being forced to slow down is God’s way of getting us to stop and fully experience our surroundings before moving on. After all, He sees what’s coming when we can’t… and He knows what we’re going to need in order to face whatever it is. If we could see the whole road at once, we’d be more likely to give up from the start and miss out on what’s at the next intersection. Eventually, we or the logging truck will turn and the view will again be clear… and that’s just what happened that day too.

Jeremiah 29:11
New International Version (NIV)
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

James 1:2-5
New International Version (NIV)
Trials and Temptations
 2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.


Josie said...

That scripture from James is VERY close to my heart, I love it and it is so true.

Mattie said...

Great post, the scriptures are hard to swallow sometimes, but encouraging as well. Thank you for sharing...

Keri Kitchen said...

Mattie, I think they're hard to swallow when people quote them and it seems like they're just being trite... but they still seem fresh and real to me!

Holly said...

I agree w/ you on the above Keri!

I have thought before when stuff like getting behind a slow car or getting stopped at a red light may be God's way of protecting me from something. Looking at it that way helps me be more patient and thankful.

Unknown said...

I thoroughly enjoyed this entry as I have thought the same way. However you expanded on it a bit and really helped me make sense of the "slow times."