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The Gift of the Red Light

It was a cold, dark morning in December--just one week before the church Christmas play. I'd finally finished writing the play, but now there was an adult choir to rehearse and kids ages two-teenage to direct. 

First drafts of senior papers were awaiting my assessment, and I'd just finished preparing for a two-hour professional development session to deliver in a neighboring school district. 

For days (weeks?) I'd been feeling the pressures of my inability to say no to new professional and personal opportunities. My mantra had become "just do the next thing you have to do." 

"Oh for a moment's rest." I don't think I ever said it out loud, but it was the thought that lived with me for weeks. I just needed to breathe.

And so, on that cold, dark Sunday morning, I made my customary stop at the neighborhood Dutch Bros. at 6:45 a.m. As my short commute continued, I approached the intersection at Linder and Franklin . . . just in time to see the light turn red. 

"Are you kidding me?" I said it aloud in my car quiet car. There wasn't another car in sight, and here I was stuck at a red light. 

And that's when I heard the voice of God. 

No, it wasn't an audible voice, but in my head it was loud and clear. "This is your gift. This red light is for you. Take a breath and enjoy the moment."

And I did. I took a breath. I relaxed my shoulders. I noticed and embraced the reprieve.

As I drove to church, my to-do list no shorter than before, I felt just a little lighter. I felt God's care for me--His way of bringing me a little rest in the midst of my overloaded schedule. 

Better yet, He had sent me a gift that keeps on giving. In the weeks since this, I have learned to embrace the gift of the red light. Each and every red feels like a reminder that God cares about me, and that my days are filled with chances to breathe and rest in His love. 


  1. I really love this post! It's a great reminder for me to enjoy those "red lights" in my life.


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