Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Wait on the Red, Go on the Green

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take." (Proverbs 3:5,6 NLT).
There are two responses to the passage above: we either take it as a nice little inspirational phrase, or we accept it as truth, believe it fully, and cling to it--especially when it doesn't seem apparent that our steps are being directed by the Lord.

I'm reminded of the girl I took driver's education with when I was fifteen. She was so nervous behind the wheel. She'd stop at a red light, then keep asking the instructor if it was ok to go now (even though the light was still red). He had to tell her, "We stop and wait at the red lights, we go on the green."  

So as I reflect on trusting the Lord to direct our steps, this phrase from the driver's training instructor comes to mind. Wait at the red lights, go on the green. If we don't sense a clear green light, keep waiting for the red to change. Sometimes, though, the light may be yellow. A "proceed with caution," but even then, it is wise to stop if you can.

When studying at a theological seminary in London during my junior year in college, I read a book called Guidance and the Voice of God. One thing I took away from that book was that, many times, we may fret over decisions, such as "Is God's will for me to move to city x or city y?" The authors were saying that in some ways, it doesn't matter, for God's will--they said--is how you live in that city: you will have opportunities to minister, to witness, to help neighbors, to grow spiritually, to be a good spouse, a good parent, in either place. They were trying to encourage readers that you can live out your faith in either geographic location, and that is a bigger concern than your physical address.

Their point was--sometimes, we just need to prayerfully make a decision with the wisdom God gives us. Although from our perspective, it may appear we made the decision, we can trust that in God's sovereign control, it was the right decision from His hand all along. But no matter where we're at on the path, I think we will sense clearly whether we're at a red light, a yellow light, or a green light. Then we can proceed accordingly.