June 14, 2023
One of the banes of my existence is the traffic light. Having been largely raised in Atlanta, they are a nuisance to be avoided whenever possible. I have been known to spend inordinate time simply planning to avoid as many as I can, no matter the length of the trip.
On my way to the office this morning I was stopped at a traffic light in Ellijay. While waiting for it to turn in my favor, I heard a tidbit of semi-useful information on the radio: the average driver, over the course of a lifetime will spend over 4 months waiting at red lights. Needless to say, I was infuriated at this and thought of all the wonderful things which could be accomplished in that amount of time. A book could be written, time could be spent with friends and family, a wonderful vacation could be had, the list goes on forever. Well, at least for a little over four months.
Of course, stop lights have their purpose. As in the physical world, so in the spiritual. As I sat fuming at the waste of time, my mind went back to one of my teachers, Fr. Brogley. He was a deeply spiritual fellow who left a few good marks on my soul. I especially remember discussing my despisal of red lights with him when I was about 17. He replied that he found them refreshing. They provided time to think, plan and pray about what he was doing. He was able to look around at his fellow travelers and see the sights of the intersection. “Maybe we need more of them,” he said. “We are in too much of a hurry these days, anyway. No place to go and all day to get there.”
OK, I still hate traffic lights. But, thanks to a high school teacher, I can sometimes put them into a better perspective. Well over 50 years later, some lessons still stick!
I bid you peace!