The Day God Brought Me to a Stop Sign
The woman just sat at the stop sign and wouldn’t move. I’d just seen her pull forward a little bit, so her car worked. But there she sat. And traffic was beginning to pile up.
My friend and I decided to pull into a nearby parking lot and see if the woman was okay.
We knocked on her passenger window and asked if she needed help. She looked our way. She appeared confused, disoriented, frustrated. We asked if she could roll the window down. She reached towards us, but couldn’t seem to figure out how. She waved her hand around a little, then withdrew — leaning back in her seat, she closed her eyes, appearing exasperated. We asked if she could unlock the door, but to no avail.
We did our best to help — calling the authorities, directing traffic around her, trying to keep her calm. We still don’t know what exactly the issue was, just that it was “health related.” We never even got her name.
Why Were We Even There?
We were just trying to go bowling. The crazy thing is, half an hour earlier, we didn’t know what we’d be doing. One in our group wanted to go bowling, another to an archery range, and there was a little disagreement. Eventually, we settled on going to a local event center that has bowling, laser tag, and other fun activities as well.
Then, at the last turn before getting there, was the woman in her car. The timing was impeccable. There was no traffic back-up when we got to the intersection, so she couldn’t have been there long. The timing of our squabble got us to that intersection right behind her.
After the authorities arrived, we moved on with our day. But the event center was packed out the wazoo, with a two and a half hour wait just to bowl. In the end, we drove back to the friend’s house, where we had squabbled just an hour before, and went to a bowling alley right down the street.
As we processed the whole thing, there was really no other reason for us to have been at that intersection. But one: The Lord had an assignment for us.
Even through a disagreement, the Lord arranged for us to arrive right behind her at that stop sign. On our way to a bowling alley where we didn’t even go bowling. Just to drive right back to where the whole process started. So we could be there to help that woman.
How Do I Respond to Interruptions?
The experience was a good reminder that sometimes the Lord disrupts our plans. When He does, we have the choice of how to respond. I’m pleased to say we responded well the other day. But I don’t always.
When a friend confronts me, do I respond in pride or humility?
When a stranger at Walmart asks for money, do I listen with skepticism? Or do I ask the Lord what word or blessing He might have me impart?
When I catch every red light on my drive home, do I check my spirit to see if the Lord is trying to get my attention? Do I need to slow down and abide with Him?
Of course, not every interruption is God’s doing. But He is sovereign through it all. Even when our plans look more like we’ve bowled a split than a strike.
Lord, help us today to stay attentive to Your working in our lives. Give us eyes to see the little moments that You’ve lined up for us to shine Your light, and help us to make the most of every situation. Thank You for Your grace and Your loving correction when we don’t respond well. And continue Your good work, Lord, of making us more like You.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” — Proverbs 3:5-6 (ESV)
Austin Roscoe is The Stream’s web coordinator.