One of my early aspirations as a 17 year old was to pass my driving test as soon as possible.
I had many formal lessons and quite a few informal ones driving the family car under the guidance of my patient father Henry. I went on to successfully pass the test at a second attempt!
It was a great experience then, to be handed the keys of Dad’s car and drive unaccompanied navigating the traffic with its road signs, lights and roundabouts. Following that initial drive I’m glad to say that I returned home without any accidents or incidents to report.
When thinking of travelling safely on the roads, the function of traffic lights is to alternate the ‘right of way’ of users by the display of lights incorporating the standard colours of Red, Amber and Green.
Some early experiences of traffic lights involved the local police who controlled the flow of traffic around London Bridge and the Houses of Parliament. In 1868 it was reported that a set of lights in London operated by gas had exploded and injured the controller.
A Traffic light is an active sign where we have to stop when on Red, wait for a while when it’s on Red and Amber and then proceed forward when they turn to Green. It represents the law of the land to provide safety and security on the roads for everyone.
An alternative to traffic lights is the Roundabout. It offers a different framework of law and traffic regulation. It is more relational and requires individual drivers to negotiate the flow of traffic with politeness, at times robustness and an appreciation of the other vehicles to ensure that no accidents takes place.
Invariably we approach them slowly, liaising with the other drivers, entering at one point and exiting at another so continuing our intended journey.
If you take a look at the You Tube video below you will see one of the craziest roundabouts in Europe, the ‘Arc de Triomphe’ in Paris. It seems extremely dangerous and drivers are less gracious and more defensive and offensive, to the point that any insurance premiums paid out due to an accident are shared 50/50 because of the higher risks involved.
Summer is in full flight and it reminds us how times, seasons and events change very quickly and it’s important to make the most of them. In that context we are constantly having to make important decisions and adjust to new situations. To Stop. Prepare and then move Forward in the flow of life’s journeys.
I wonder what it means for you to Stop or Slow down at this present time?
In writing this blog it is important to end a sentence with a full stop. It is used as part of a greater construction such as a paragraph. It gives a rest, an opportunity to start a new sentence with a continued or difference emphasis or meaning. This compares to a comma, which allows a continuation of words and acts as a refrain/breather in between various words.
Are there situations where you are having to stop or slow down such as ill health, a reordering of your wealth or other planned or unexpected events that have come to you? Red tells us to stop. It’s a signal we have to respond to directly. We may be forced into a situation that will slow us down and cause us to review what is required from us.
Are you in a period of Preparation and Negotiation at this present time?
It is said that preparation is vital for the completion of a good job done. In decorating a living room we have to set aside time to start the job. All furniture and fittings are removed or covered. The ceilings and walls are cleaned and cracks are filled so that all is ready for a fresh coat of paint for that beautifully restored living room to emerge.
The combination of Red and Amber alerts us to the reality that we soon have to get ready to move forward. Taking time to prepare and think about actions and reactions is very important. That preparation and negotiation may seem to go on for ever but just like the painting of the living room it will be a basis for a good job completed.
What does it mean for you to Go and move forward at this present time?
Are there small or large steps of Faith that you have to take in readiness for the next adventure in your life? Are you Hoping for something that you believe in but hasn’t materialised yet? A business plan, personal goals, financial calculations, relational decisions and actions. All have to be implemented at some cost but with that hope of a reward and a planned return with interest.
‘Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.’
Hebrews 11 v 1
‘Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.’
Rom 8 v 24 – 25
In thinking about physical traffic lights and roundabouts.
May we stop and slowdown in our mind, body and spirit.
May we prepare well for our next assignment?
May we be excited about moving forward in Faith, with Hope, realising new Horizons.