Roadblocks

Three red lights in a row, paced in the distance.

One after the other, making the horizon seem too distant

as I drive along this road, feeling dissonance

between where I’m at and where I need to go. This is

something I’ve always struggled with. Feeling the

pent-up energy surge as my body surges forward

but the seatbelt slams me back against the seat

even though I haven’t moved two feet.

I say, “I want to be up there. Up where that last red light is.

Up where I can escape this traffic and escape where

I’m at right now because these roads are starting to

feel less and less like home but I don’t know what

the roads are like where I’m supposed to go.”

And would you know? That back red light turns green.

But I still have the overwhelming urge to scream as

three red lights turn to two, then one.

One.

A small number between me and freedom.

But I can’t steer from one when it stands

between me and three and

Two.

To go to where I want to go, I’ll have to deal with

more than just red lights. I’ll have to handle the

green lights–how can green lights be so intimidating?

Three.

Because one, two, three means go.

Go means move forward.

Move forward means leave behind.

Leave behind means you’re on your own.

One red light turns to green, and I go.

I move forward.

I leave behind.

I’m on my own.

And when I come to the next red light far along this road

and have to stop, I think about all the stretch of road

in the horizon of the rearview mirror.

All those green lights turned red.

I was never alone.

God was with me in the in the green, in the driving,

just as much as He was in the red, in the anxiety–

in the roadblocks.

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