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.
A small number between me and freedom.
But I can’t steer from one when it stands
between me and three and
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?
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.