In my town, a highly anticipated new fly over bridge opened last week. It is located in an area leading from highly populated suburbs onto the interstate loop which wraps around the city. On the day that the bridge opened and the exit sign was unveiled, it had a spelling error of the name of the city to which an exit led. The news media received calls and the spelling was fixed the next day by the Department of Transportation (DOT). Social Media picked up on the mistake showing the before and after sign pics. So, this event led me to think about how many times I am anticipating something good but then get distracted by something unrelated. I mean, this new fly over could still be the path on which travelers drove which enabled them to not be hung up in miles of traffic waiting to turn left onto the interstate, but the traffic congestion relief was barely mentioned in the media due to the spelling mistake on the sign. There is still construction going on below the bridge, so the traffic merging from the fly over bridge onto the interstate below is having to demonstrate merging patience. Eventually, though, this bridge and the wider interstate lanes below will alleviate issues that bring daily headaches to drivers and hopefully improve their morning commute times thus allowing drivers more family time in the mornings.
Life Lessons I learned from the opening of the new Fly Over Bridge:
1. Anticipate growth. Bridges will be built to improve our driving experience. You could take the long route, but why? The bridge took time and required collaboration and resources. Be willing to build your compassion, your capacity to care and your vision for the future. Pray and ask God to give you clear direction before you start down a path.
2. Recognize setbacks as setbacks and don’t let them get us off track. The misspelling on the sign made drivers lose focus and possibly not bask in their new found and long awaited relief path. Could I miss thanking God for His Provision by blowing a setback out of proportion?
3. Focus on driving and learn how to turn the steering wheel to keep up with traffic while on a bridge. It’s a new feeling. Give yourself time to learn. Move toward God and focus on the leading of His Spirit.
4. Merge into traffic with patience. New growth does not necessarily mean that everyone knows what to do. Get out of the way. Press the brake. Stay in your lane. Work with the other drivers who also have a common goal: to make it to the next level. Use common sense. Patience is a trait that develops over time, but with many opportunities to practice it. Do what you know to do and respond to others the way Jesus would.
5. You may have liked the old light that allowed you to turn left from the bridge onto the interstate. It’s been taken down. The old has gone, the new has come. Rejoice!
6. Give yourself time to adjust. Leave a bit earlier to study the new traffic pattern so that you won’t be late. Have a plan. Autopilots don’t belong here. If you aren’t sure about which direction to take, find the DOT cameras online and study the new traffic pattern. In life, our new patterns and habits come about with prayer, studying God’s Road Map which is the Bible, and not veering from the path which He is lighting. Follow Him. “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Psalms 119:105
7. Use your resources and follow the signs that lead to the path which leads to your goals. At first, the path may seemed tainted with unexpected circumstances, but be undaunted. Move ahead in prayer.
8. Be open to feedback and respond to it. You may need to adjust your original plan like the DOT used the feedback to fix the spelling on the sign. People may make a big deal out of your mistakes, but remind yourself that you are moving in the right direction. If you feel strongly that you should not take the fly over bridge, then be sure to get in the right lane to exit in another direction. God has plans for you because He designed you with your special traits. Use your gifts for His glory.
9. Driving strategies parallel life strategies. Road rage has no place. Do your part and hope that everyone else does theirs. If God closes a door, then He is giving someone else an opportunity to do their part. He has a specifically designed plan for your life.
10. Stay committed to reaching your destination. If the fly over bridge leads to your goal, then get on the bridge. Don’t be distracted and miss the “exit” or the new opportunity. Keep your eyes on Jesus by spending time with Him. You will sense opportunities that He arranges for you. If you are not praying according to His Will, you may push your own plans. Just be sure that you have put on the whole armor of God. You’ll need it for your protection.