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  • Nick McDonald

Traffic is (Not) a Silly Thing.


I know traffic is a silly thing, a thing we pooh-pooh and slough off and banter about when there’s nothing else to talk about. But it’s a thing. It’s a thing in my day that works like a pH tester for my soul, testing the condition of its waters, telling me which disease I have now (and one is always slipping in when I’ve vanquished the other - a factory of idols if there ever was one - now slinking into bitterness, now rising in self-congratulatory spiritual triumph.)

There are days when the five - count them, five - stoplights within an eighth of a mile stretch on Broadway feel like hitting pause in the climax of a movie. A good movie. A movie featuring me, naturally, who else?

Other days I’m sprinting through lights, hitting one green grated bulb after another. But I have texts to answer, podcasts to finish, luminous streams of consciousness that are not to be trifled with. At those times it’s going too quickly, fast-forwarding through this scene I need to slow down and deconstruct.

But it’s not the lights that anger me, or the people, or the F-850 that cut me off when actually-it-was-his-fault-for-not-getting-over-sooner. It’s Jesus. He’s frustrating my plans, poking me in the eye when I’m least expecting it, always with the worst timing when here I am doing His job (whose kingdom was that? Who was the main feature in this film?).

In fact I will say (and who’s with me?), one of the most frustrating things about kingdom work is Jesus, always the prankster, stripping me of my favorite dress-up clothes and tugging at my shirt when I have serious work to do.

I wish for once He’d take me as seriously as I do.


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