Expect Delays Ahead

By: Elder Larry Dela Cruz
OH NO! Those are the words that generally come out of my mouth when I am driving and suddenly see signs that say ‘Expect Delays Ahead.’ I dread seeing the red brake lights of all the cars ahead as I approach them. Of course, those two words are accompanied by grumbling, murmuring, random body movements and any other way I can express my frustration. My wife tells me that I completely transform to a different person every time it happens (sort of like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde).

Automatically, my mind goes to work to figure out ways to get around it. There are times that there is no other way but through it, so I am stuck with it and all the anguish attached to it. I eagerly look ahead to see the end of it and find out the culprit to blame for all of this mess.
What’s ironic is, I grew up in Manila where crawling traffic is a daily norm. A 30-minute driving distance there always takes a couple of hours or longer for no apparent cause – just sheer volume. So if you ask me what happens if you add accidents, road closures or even street flooding to it, my reply will be ‘Better bring your picnic baskets.’
Daily traffic situation here in the US is nothing compared to that. I thank God that he took me away from that daily commute struggle by relocating my family here in the U.S. But still, that is one of the things that I don’t look forward to every time I go back there for a vacation (which explains why it is not that frequent at all).
99% of the time the cause of the traffic jam here is either road construction, an accident or just rush hour volume. I reserve the 1% to duck, cow, turtle or another slow animal crossing (Lol). Once I get to the end of that delay, my foot is ready to step on the gas and roar ahead just like a NASCAR driver. I am glad that everything is now in my rear view mirror. The two main reasons I hate traffic jams are it is exhausting and makes me arrive late to my appointments.
As a consolation, while sitting in traffic, I get to pay attention to all the things around me that I usually just pass by. (This is after I cooled down a bit and accepted my fate). If it was in a city, I get to observe people as they go on with their life, their work buildings, their houses, yards, and others. If it was on an interstate or highway, I get to look at the trees, woods, farm lands and scenic views that I did not notice before. Sometimes I just stare at the sign that says how far the next exit is because that is how long I will still have to sit in this traffic mess.
Our life can be like that too. We try to breeze through it in cruise control mode, and our mind is set on getting to the destination as scheduled. We set goals on what we should have accomplished or achieved when we get to this certain age. Then out of nowhere, we are faced with life challenges like a death of a loved one, health issues, financial troubles, relationship struggles, and others that may force us to change our plans and miss our goal. These are life ‘delays’ that may result in detours also at times depending on how big it is.
These ‘delays’ bring us back to God and make us pay closer attention to people or things that matter around that we may have inadvertently ignored because of intense focus on our goals. It brings us to complete dependency on God to help us go through it. In Psalm 46:10 He says ‘Be still and know that I am God.’ Without Him, we might run out of gas and end up in a complete breakdown. You don’t want that to happen and become a cause of ‘delay’ for other people around you.

These ‘delays’ bring us back to God and make us pay closer attention to people or things that matter around that we may have inadvertently ignored because of intense focus on our goals.

Just like the traffic jam that will eventually ease up, life ‘delays’ will also pass. Whenever we get to the end of it, we should be eager to move forward and roar back again with the strength He will give us. Isaiah 40:31 says ‘But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.’ We can all gladly look in the rear view mirror of life and see how God got us through that one and hoped that it would be the last one for a while. Life ‘delays’ will happen whether we like it or not, just like the sign says ‘Expect Delays Ahead.’

Did I mention on what you should do if you feel the urge to go to the restroom amidst the mile-long traffic jam? Well, that’s another story.


About the Author

Larry Dela Cruz is one of the Elder of GSBC and is also the Finance, ministry chairman. He works as a computer programmer for DELDOT and DMV. He likes to do a lot of work in and out of the house that are too numerous to list, and some are too embarrassing to mention.

2 Responses to “Expect Delays Ahead”

  1. Joy Agustin Borja says:

    Very well written. Hope for more of this. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Ariel Juje Agustin Arandia says:

    Great spiritual insight on the present world we live in . A true challenge for a Christian.

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