Every Yellow Light Is Just For You

Do you like yellow traffic lights, especially when you’re in a hurry to get somewhere?  Of course not.  But in this blog, we’re going to talk about how yellow lights can be a great blessing.

There was a year or so in my life, sometime in the mid-1990’s, when it seemed like I was hitting a yellow light at every major intersection.  It got to the point where I wondered what was going on. 

After my conversion experience in 1988, for the first time I began to appreciate the reality that God is communicating to every human being on a regular basis.  We think of prayer as talking to God, but the most important part of prayer is listening, being attentive and watchful for God’s communication to us.  So when this yellow light syndrome struck in the mid-90’s, I wondered what it was all about.

Now, I have a saying: “Every yellow light is just for you?”  What do I mean by that?

Think of it this way.  Let’s say you’re on your way to work, and you’re running late.  You get to a major intersection, and the light turns yellow.  You have time to stop, but you hit the gas pedal and blow through the intersection as the light turns red.  You look around to see if there are any police cars.  When you don’t see any, you breathe a sigh of relief.  You saved valuable seconds.

Now here’s the point.  Let’s say getting through that yellow light saved you 60 seconds.  What if, by breezing through that yellow light, the rest of the day you were 60 seconds ahead of where God wanted you to be, and as a result you missed an opportunity that God had set up just for you?

The point is that we should have an attitude, an awareness, that God, through the Holy Spirit, orchestrates every detail of our lives if we let Him.  We should live with a mentality that our primary task in life is to discern His will for our lives and then be obedient to God’s direction for us.  The basic concept is that we are living in the flow of God’s grace every single moment of every day.

A couple of years ago, I met some members of a group of about 13 people from a church in a remote area of Wayne County, just east of Rochester, New York.  Every one of these people was on fire with respect to their faith.  Why?  The group had begun a long study of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola.  Through this study, they had learned that God does in fact communicate with each of us all the time and that we can learn how to discern what He is communicating.  This was tremendously exciting for all of these people.

In our next blog, we’ll talk about some of the principles for discerning God’s will.  For now, here’s a closing passage from Psalm 139:

Lord, you have probed me, you know me:

you know when I sit and stand;

you understand my thoughts from afar.

You sift through my travels and my rest;

with all my ways you are familiar.

Even before a word is on my tongue,

Lord, you know it all.

Behind and before you encircle me

and rest your hand upon me.

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,

far too lofty for me to reach.

Where can I go from your spirit?

From your presence, where can I flee?

If I ascend to the heavens, you are there;

if I lie down in Sheol, there you are.

If I take the wings of dawn

and dwell beyond the sea,

Even there your hand guides me,

your right hand holds me fast.