Yup, flipped off in the church crosswalk.

     It was a regular Tuesday morning in the church office. I gathered my wallet and put on one of my many youth ministry sweatshirts. It was a cooler than usual southern California Day. I paused my Pandora mix, and shut my office door to head across the street from the student ministry offices to the main church campus. A nice well worn path exists between my office and the church coffee bar. Only one crosswalk, two sets of stairs and a busy parking lot separates this girl from her nonfat double latte with extra foam. The street was unusually empty for this time of day. Except for one middle aged lady in an SUV speeding straight down the road in my direction. I hit the crosswalk button. As the car continued to speed quickly towards the intersection, she noticed her light turn yellow and then red. She shot me an evil eye, put the pedal to the metal and flipped me off as she ran the red light. Slowing down to let me cross the street was by no means an option. She wanted to speed through the light and was furious I had hit the crosswalk button, turning her light red. Slowing down was the last thing she wanted to do, so she didn't.

    When a light you expected to stay green, suddenly turns red, do you react in angst or take it as a sign to sit still a moment and slow things down? Time to get impatient and upset, or time to reevaluate and reflect? Do you get mad at the person responsible for the light turning red, or sit back and patiently wait for the green light to move forward? Does it cause you a lot of pain and impatience as you sit in one place, waiting to move on ahead in the direction you wanted to go in the first place? This one silly little lady, who flipped me off in a church crosswalk, gave me a lot to ponder. No one likes to slow down, but sometimes we don't have a choice, and sometimes it is an unexpected gift.

     As a mom in youth ministry with a family in the midst of cold and flu season, slowing down is something that life dictates on occasion, whether you want it to or not. I remember a wise and witty lady named Monica who worked on a CE committee with me back in my Presby days. As she was heading out the door one day to get back to her family, she spoke these words: "When the kids are sick and life has to stop, I take it as God's way of telling me to slow down."  I never forgot those words. Time to pause the committees, the volunteering, the workload, the crazy pace of life and slow down for a bit. Red lights don't last forever. Soon the light will turn green and life will fly right on by like it usually does.


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