At the Threshold of Victory

By: David Ramos

          "Wait until you see the light!” my wife Gigi cried out with a sense of urgency mixed with fear.  “Wait until you see the light!”  These words reverberated in my mind as I gripped the steering wheel and froze before a truck that obscured my sight at the traffic light. 

I live in Perth Amboy, New Jersey, a small quaint working class town surrounded by the Raritan River.  Recently the town erected a handsome new bridge called the “Victory Bridge” that connects Perth Amboy with the town of Sayreville.  At the crossroads of the bridge is an intricate pattern of traffic lights that, in an orderly fashion, provides the right of way for drivers traveling in different directions.  However, at night there seems to be glitch in the pattern.  When traveling southbound, the light at times skips this southbound lane forcing drivers to wait for another round in the sequence; this often confuses motorists who think that the light is broken and venture to cross this dangerous intersection and into harms way.  I have witnessed several near misses.   The light eventually turns green, but you have to wait for a rather long time.  This wait is punctuated because it is the first light you encounter after exiting the rapid pace of the New Jersey Turnpike.   

     “Wait until you see the light!”  How difficult waiting can be for us at times!  As leaders we have been trained to be bold, to plow ahead in the midst of adversity, to intrepidly move into the darkness and the foreboding.  Don’t we celebrate the exploits of pioneers like Columbus who courageously sailed into the unknown?  Surely we must take action and move forward at life’s intersections.  Is that always true?  Aren’t there times when we should wait? 

As leaders we itch to make things happen, to usher in catalytic change, to ignite revolutionary transformation in our churches, our organizations and communities.   In our personal lives we often long for new conquests, new achievements, new vistas before we have even settled into the land we just conquered.  Our culture also promotes a “bigger and better” ethic that keeps us on the perpetual highway of activity, events, and work.  We have become a society of adrenaline junkies who need to feel progress in order to experience meaning.  Moreover, the tempo of the accelerated modern life manufactures impatience with those who do not seem to move at our pace. 

It can be infuriating to have to wait or to be “skipped” in the sequence or path of life.  However, at times, God asks us to wait.  Sometimes we must wait for healing, we must wait for resolution, and wait for opportunity.  Sometimes we must wait in pain, wait in silence, wait in uncertainty or even wait in tears—but when asked by God—wait we must!  Sometimes it is we who must change and not the circumstances.  Traffic lights and speed limits are designed to protect us and are not arbitrary boundaries to limit to our lives.  Sometimes by proceeding we expose ourselves to unnecessary harm.  God can use this waiting period to alter the landscape of our lives, change the hearts of others, or open up doors of blessing and opportunity.  Wait until you see the light!  It is God who will usher you safely at the threshold of victory.


  1. Hola Dave,
    i’m so glad the group took this next step into the blogosphere…thanks for helping me to see new “vistas”

  2. David Ramos

    Mi Hermano, muchas gracias por tu gran espiritu, y tus palabras de animo. Que el Senor te sigue usando!

  3. Brother Dave,
    Wise words man. Patience is a difficult virture to cultivate in our current context. I’ll be checking you guys out from down here in the “dirty south.”

  4. David "Devo" Ramos

    Thanks Bro, I was recently down in North Carolina for a gang initiative meeting at the YMCA offices. Did you hear anything about that?

  5. Miami Vice

    I read your piece as I listened to some cool jazz in the background. I was reminded that pauses-partiularly, the jazz kind don’t seem like times of waiting for a light-but instead reflect a flow in the rhythm that helps to accentuate what was just played and what is about to come. Whe you walked to the beach this afternoon-were you aware of the pauses in the rythmof the waves? I don’t think waitng is cool- but some how it is integral part the journey.

  6. Yo Smooth Operator, I’m feeling you. Jazz is a great metaphor, pauses are not what some think–a waste of time, but rather as you say, part of the whole piece. My spin is that there are moments when we are arrested by God’s spirit or must be able to hold still lest we move forward in danger. Great feedback Miami Vice!

  7. Gloria a Dios! You finally did it Dave…joined the blogosphere. Looking forward to what your group will be sharing. I know you called me today but I didn’t get it till late. Much love, Liz

  8. Dave,
    I didn’t hear about that. I am very much interested in that. I am sure you have heard about the growing population of gangs here in Charlotte, NC. Its crazy. I will have to look into that more.

  9. Anthony, I was surprised at the emergent gang problem in Charlotte. Folk down there are very concerned. Several weeks ago, the American Bible Society hosted an event in regarding a hip-hop genre magazine they produce called 4-the-Streets. In attendance were representatives of YMCA, Boys & Girls Club, Youth for Christ, the Mayor Pro-Tem, the Sheriff’s department, the Department of Juvenille Justice, the NC Police Department’s Gang Unit, etc. It sparked a good conversation and we are seeking to build a partnership down there. Let’s stay in touch and I’ll keep you posted.

  10. I tried to navigate the highways of Perth Amboy once, trying to get to a movie theater. After several tries of trying to get on and off a hiway to find the theater, we gave up and drove home.

  11. Steve,
    I know the theater, if you take the Victory Bridge (Route 35) towards Sayreville, there will be an entrance on the right as soon as you get off the bridge. Another entrance is when one is towards to onramp of Route 9 North towards Perth Amboy.

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