I am on my way home and stopped for a red light at a very busy intersection. This intersection allows vehicles to go in 4 different directions, each direction with 2 lanes and a turn lane. This allows for 20 lanes in all.
As I am sitting at the red light I glance across the street to the other side. There I notice a small boy, about 18 months old, holding the hand of his mother. He is one step ahead closest to the curb.
His head is held high, his eyes are wide open, and he is looking back and forth taking in all he can. The sights, the sounds, the activity... he is trying to capture the fullness of what is taking place around him.
His mother is not speaking to him but he does not appear to mind. He seems to be enjoying all he is seeing and taking in. There is a slight smile across his face and his expression is bright and one of excitement.
I sit and admire this small one. I wonder what all his mind must be learning? How, in that moment, he must be processing and developing in all he is experiencing.
And then their light turns green, his mother begins walking, he puts his head down and falls in step (actually a little trot, his little legs trying to keep up) beside her. He is off on his journey once again.
And then I hear it, the still small voice…
My child, this is how I want you to be. Learn from this toddler. You are mine. I want you holding tightly to my hand. You know your destination and know the direction you need to travel. But I need you to wait with me at this red light. Your life is at an intersection right now and I need you to wait until the light turns green.
You are begging to hear me, pleading for me to say something. Why must you always be hearing me say something to believe I am there? Your hand is in mine, squeeze it just a bit and sense the presence of your little fingers engulfed in the palm of my hand. Your name is engraven there… on the palm of my hand. (Isaiah 49:16) Be assured I am here! I have not left you to wait at this red light alone.
Why must you whine and complain about this wait, this red light, this intersection of your life? Lift up your head, open your eyes, look at the sights, listen to the sounds, and take in the fullness of all that is happening around you. I have things I can and want to teach you at this light.
How can you hear what I need you to hear when you are doing the talking, begging and pleading for the light to turn green, to move forward once again? How can you see what I need you to see with your head looking down at your feet dwelling on the fact we are not moving, or looking ahead and straining to see as far down the road as you can?
Focus on the things around you. There are exciting things happening right here in this place. You need to learn from these things to grow, to learn, to develop as I need you to.
The light will turn green soon and we will begin walking again. You will put your head down for the task and begin moving forward. But for now, lift your head, look for the newness around you, the lessons to learn, and do not be afraid to enjoy the moment, to let that brief small smile creep across your face. Relish in the exciting things happening at this red light, and learn from them.
But be ready at a moment’s notice to begin moving forward once again to continue on this journey. It won’t be as long as you might think.