I was driving to work yesterday morning behind a white pick up truck. We reached the stop sign at the end of my street, and the truck stopped and put on its emergency lights. There was no way I could get around it, so I was stuck until they were ready to go again. Frustrating!
Two women hopped out to collect garage sale signs. So at that point I had a choice: be annoyed because I had to wait (first instinct) or be amused with how much it looked like a game of “red-light-green-light” (the PC name for what used to be called “Chinese Fire Drill” when I was a kid).
As I sat there, I realized my situation was not that different from a dear friend’s. This guy is a wonderful father, loving husband, and godly man who, for as long as I have known him, has been dissatisfied with his job.
Can you relate? A lot of us get trapped in job situations that are toxic and are looking for a way out.
My friend has tried numerous times to get transferred/promoted to a better location within his company, but each time the transfer hasn’t been approved, even though he was the most logical candidate. Closed doors, as some people call them. Recently, more liked slammed doors. The situation is frustrating, unfair, and leads to anger. That’s understandable, right?
When the truck stopped me from obtaining my goal, I was annoyed (I was going somewhere, people!), but the reason I was miffed was because events weren’t going according to my plan.
It was like God was interfering with my plan to remind me He is in control. I can either submit to Him (go with the flow), or get angry (failure to trust His plan). It’s a small annoyance, but it occurred to me that the same principle applied for my friend.
What is God trying to tell him with all the closed doors? Could it be that God won’t release him from his toxic work situation until he surrenders his anger and submits to God?
How often do we get angry when plans don’t go the way we think they “should”? We get mad when things happen that shouldn’t, or don’t happen that should. Life should be fair, We shouldn’t have to wait. I should be able to handle this. She shouldn’t treat me that way. Should is one of the most dangerous words in our language because it screams of entitlement. But to what are we entitled?
Nothing. In fact, we’re called to put away our own selfish desires (things we believe should be).
“Then [Jesus] said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me.” – Luke 9:23, NLT
Sometimes our cross can be as simple as a truck stopped with its emergency lights flashing. If I hadn’t been stopped behind the white truck, I would not be writing this blog post. God has purpose in everything, big or small. The key is to constantly seek His purpose.
We can use anger as a yellow flashing light *caution* *caution* *caution* to indicate we need to search our hearts. If you’re feeling angry, what do you need to turn from in order to follow Jesus? Where in life do you need to submit control to find peace?