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.