Thursday, February 17, 2011


I've been "stalled" this week with a case of bronchitis. I write to you now from the road to recovery... hoorah!

For the past 4 days, though, I've puttered about in a cloud of semi-coherent thought, the piling dishes and pajamas-past-the-hour-of-pajamas compounding my general feeling of ickiness. Add to that the self-directed shrug of admittance at the end of the day that nothing was accomplished in all those hours of homebound opportunity, and the result is this haunting thought: hopefully things will get back to normal soon.

Today, I see that I've been laboring under the false idea that things need to be "normal" for me to be used by the Lord, productive for Him.

Here's the thing. Just because I can't go anywhere doesn't mean I can't go anywhere. I'm still a bit under the influence of that head-cold-induced-befuddlement, but I think this paradoxical statement might have a shred of lucidity to it.

I heard on the radio once the amount of time, on average, that one spends during a lifetime sitting at red lights. I can't recall the number, but here's a little calculation of my own for you:

3 minutes, 18 seconds (on average, per stoplight, according to this helpful link). Let's round it down to 3 minutes.
3 stoplights a day (according to my feeble estimation).
59 years (or 21,535 days) if you drive every day from the time you're 16 to the time you're 75.
That's 3,230 hours and 15 minutes spent at red lights.

When I heard this idea on the radio, the context was a Bible teaching where the pastor was pointing out that if you simply pray every time you hit a red light, you will have redeemed at least 3,230 hours throughout your life...hours which may otherwise have been spent gazing aimlessly at passing cars, avoiding eye contact with frantic sign wavers for pizza parlors, or fuming in impatience at that inconsiderate red light.

Whether it's waiting at red lights or puttering about in bronchitis-induced fogs, we do find ourselves stalled in life. "Stalled," as in "not moving forward in the way we'd anticipated."

The thing is, God allows those road blocks sometimes to get us to stop moving with our feet and start moving with our hearts. Sometimes our measurable movement is aimless and lacking purpose, so He cripples that movement for a time in order to put meaning back into it.

Today I realized that I've wasted some of the past 4 days by waiting it out instead of waiting on Him.

Today I was convicted by words from a prayer that scratched from pen to paper 7 years ago:
"...When my hands move, let them be as useful and effective as when they are locked in prayer. When my knees are bent in prayer, let them work as much for you as if they had been climbing many mountains."
Praying today for beautiful feet even when they're laid up with bronchitis:
"How beautiful on the mountains
are the feet of those who bring good news,
who proclaim peace,
who bring good tidings,
who proclaim salvation,
who say to Zion,
'Your God reigns!'"
Isaiah 52:7 



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