I sat in traffic Tuesday for a sum total of 2 hours and 20 minutes.  That’s a lot of time to think.  Especially when you’re sitting at one particularly slow intersection for more than 10 minutes.

I could have gotten frustrated at the situation, at the driver next to me who didn’t understand that “right turn only” meant, turn right.  I could have gotten upset at the fact that he then proceeded to cut me off, only to go under the speed limit.  I had to fight hard against anger when I realized that Google maps wasn’t correct, and the road I wanted didn’t continue under the highway, but stopped short and started again on the other side.

I sat, and fumed.

Somewhere between 2 and 4 mph, I realized something.  I realized that I seem to expect traffic to be light, other drivers to pay attention, lights to turn in my favor and an easiness to accompany me on each trip.  When I get in my car my understanding of life disappears, and I expect everything to flow smoothly.  I expect ease, when I don’t see it in my life.

Sitting, unmoving, surrounded by hundreds of other commuters all trying to get home, it hit me.

Sometimes in life I’m victorious on the wings of eagles.  Sometimes I’m winning, on top of the world and unable to fall.  Sometimes you hop on the highway and cruise home like traffic didn’t exist.  Other times, you wonder why you got out of bed.  Other times, you mess up at work, you offend a loved one.  You, I…. fail.

As I sat there, waiting for my turn at the intersection, I understood.  This is life.

It is imperfect.  I am imperfect.  We fall into the trap of thinking that we can control the traffic, and when we realize we cannot, we get frustrated.  The crazy thing is, we try it all over again the next day.  We think we can make things perfect, and we never will.

Life hasn’t been easy, and we were never promised it would be.  Sometimes we will need to fight, to push through the chaos surrounding us, trust the One who is writing the story we’re in, and keep going.  Yes, sometimes the road is wide open before us, the sun is shining and all is well in the world.  Other times though the road is hard, painful and bathed in tears.

Yes, at times we may look like idiots.  We may have to back-up the wrong way down a one-way, we may have to change lanes at the last minute, or jump a curb. We may not always get to chose the roads we’re on, the detours we’re forced to take or the chaos we may have to fight through.  But we are promised we do not walk this path alone.  And we are promised that we will find things worthy of fighting for.   And we were promised, that eventually, we would make it home.

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