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Red Light Phobia

Recently at Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference, I had the pleasure of meeting a writer whose blog posts I’ve enjoyed for quite a while.
I was sitting in the main meeting room and turned around in my chair—and there she was. I walked back to where she was sitting and knelt down beside where she was sitting. All I was able to get out was, “Hi…” and she quickly spoke my name as if we were long-time friends just catching up after too long a separation. You could have knocked me over with a feather. It was one of the highlights of the week for me.


This morning I was reading one of her recent posts (http://loristanleyroeleveld.blogspot.com/2013/05/what-does-yellow-light-mean-lesson-from.html) and it stirred a few thoughts in me. (Take a few minutes to read it…if you don’t get back here, it’s ok! We can catch up later.)

Got you thinking, didn’t it? It did me. Here’s where I went…

If we have green light fever, it is fed by our red light phobia. This thought came to me as I considered Lori’s suggestion that the cure for our busyness is to slow down–to pay more attention to the yellow lights. (Love that youtube video, by the way.) While I’ve tended to put the passengers in my car a little closer to the windshield because a light turns yellow and I’m inclined to stop, most people seem to want to speed up to “make the light.” I believe this behavior is directly related to our intense dislike for stopping. We don’t dare slow down for fear that it might result in the wasted time spent stopped.

As I pondered this, I was reminded of my dear friend, Rita. nearly 30 years ago she was going through an extremely difficult time as she watched her marriage dissolving, and along with it, all her dreams. Many people counselled her to move on, but she felt God was calling her to a faithful stance. We decided the answers we needed were in the Word. I gave her a small NIV Bible I had. She carried it with her all the time in her car. Whenever she stopped at a red light, she would pick up the Bible and start reading. For a season, God brought healing to her relationship. She became one of the strongest testimonies to me of not fearing the red lights. Sometimes we have to do more than slow down. We have to be willing to stop. Perhaps that’s what is meant by the admonition in Psalm 46:10 to “Be still and know that I am God.” I still have the Bible that Rita read, and noted in. When I find myself in “down time” situations, I pull it out to find God’s word for me.

So have you been dashing through the yellow lights, trying to get ahead or keep from falling even farther behind? Are you afraid of the down times, the red light moments where you just have to stop?

Working with a ninety year old woman who has been slowly slipping away due to Alzheimer’s disease has helped me develop my appreciation for the down times. Actually, I find myself enjoying life more and treasuring each moment as the gift that it is. If I were allowed the privilege of going back in time I would want to take my perspective of time with me. There are a few more stories I’d like to read to my girls. A few more walks I’d like to take with my husband and my dogs. I would sit on the porch swing and enjoy it–not giving thought to the list of things that just had to be done.

As I thought about that more relaxed pace, images of people telling me to slow down came to mind. Several of them. Seems someone was always telling me that. Too bad I was moving too fast to listen. Wish I could let them know that I get it now. And I have. I may put that Bible in my car, too. Just to remind me to be thankful for the red lights!

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4 thoughts on “Red Light Phobia

  1. Second message I’ve seen today talking about yellow lights. Think there’s a message in that for me? I’m going with “Yes, Julianne, yes there is!”
    Thanks!

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    • Hmmmm. What’s really interesting is that I wrote most of this last week and just got around to finishing it this evening. So I was prompted to post it today not last week…yep. There’s a message for you…and me. Blessings friend.

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  2. Great post, Tina. My friend Dee Dee Parker (also at BR!) has taught me so much about slowing down and enjoying the quiet beauty of each day. Gotta love those insightful BR friends!

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    • Thanks, Susan. Wasn’t long ago I would have laughed if you suggested that slowed down and quiet might describe me. Loud hasn’t been erased, but quiet is being cherished. Have a blessed day.

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