Sitting in Traffic
That’s what everyone loves to do… right? Don’t you just love it? Everyone is so courteous, they are all thinking about how each of us can get to where we are going in the safest and quickest manner. I mean, I am just so happy when I get on the roads to go to work in the morning, and I know I’m going to be surrounded by people who are rational, loving, and have others’ best interests at heart!
I was struck by a particular thought as I sat in traffic this week though. Most mornings in the car I listen to a little reading and guided prayer provided by some wonderful people, it’s called “Pray As You Go’ and you can get it here
One of the verses that we were praying through was:
For God loved the world in this way: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.
And one of the questions was to ponder the phrase, “God so loved the world…”
So, here I am, sitting in traffic, one of the places that I feel the most frustrated and constantly letdown by humanity as a whole, and I have to ponder this phrase about how God loves everyone…
the people sitting in traffic around me…
the guy that just cut me off…
The people that use the bus only lane and zoom past me, causing traffic to come to an even BIGGER halt as they are forced to merge back further down the line…
God loves them?
I remember that I was looking around when pondering this – refusing to look at the cars around me – and I was looking at a beautiful stretch of grass that ran along beside the motorway (highway/freeway) and thought ‘Of course God loves this natural world – who wouldn’t? The grass is beautiful, the sun is shining, and it is a wonderful place to be – but the people on the other side of me? I’m not so sure!’
But, in spite of what I may feel, my personal feelings do not change the fact that God does indeed love those people. This was the thought that struck me the hardest, if I’m honest. And it is the point of the entire Gospel.
God looks down with such love and compassion on the world, on every part of His creation, and He desperately desires to be in relationship with us. He wants to have the entirety of cation reconciled to Him, and so, He comes to us.
He makes a way. He sees that there is no way we would be able to do any of the reconciling on our own, or left to our own devices – I mean, have you seen how people behave in traffic!?
So He decides to step in, He knows that there is no way that we are going to do this ourselves, and becomes a part of the system itself by coming to earth, not as God, as His total divinity unmasked, and in His full glory – we could not handle that, I don’t think that any part of creation could handle that! If we were faced with the full reality of who God is, if we saw Him face to face in our current state, we would be utterly lost!
So, He comes and one of us, we call it the Incarnation, the putting on of flesh. Our God becoming a human being, yet retaining all of His God-ness. It is one of the mysteries of our faith, how Christ could be 100% God and 100% human at the same time. But He does, and He lives among us, He experiences all that we do, He loves, He cries, He is hungry, thirsty, sad, mad, frustrated, and joyful. Then He submits to death on a cross so that we can be free to have eternal life, to live with Him, to be in His presence forever!
The thing is – He didn’t have to do this – but He did. He was compelled to by His love for all of us, even His love for me! He did it so that He could know us, and we could know Him. I want to feel at least a portion of the love that God has for others, to know what it is like to love the ‘ unloveable’ those who may actively work to frustrate you, and I think I did so that morning in traffic on the way to work.
So the question must become – what are we going to do with this love?