Here in the state of Washington, a new cell-phone-while-driving law went into effect a couple months ago. While I haven’t talked to anyone who believes cell phones and driving are a good marriage, there’s a piece of this law that’s sparked a bit of controversy.
You’re not allowed to even look at your phone. Ever. (Unless it’s mounted and displaying a map.) Even while stopped at a stoplight.
I must plead “guilty” to the charge of peaking at my phone at a stop light. Since the new law went into effect, I’ve been intentional about not looking.
Not looking at my phone has had some unexpected positive benefits.
I have noticed more of what’s around me. I’ve paid attention to the people in other cars. I’ve prayed more. I’ve experienced the simple joy of peaceful silence. (That last one deserves a post of its own.)
Over the last few weeks, I had a thought…
What if I intentionally used that stoplight time?”
God also brought a common set of verses to my mind…
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
What if we combined the two? What if you and I used the stoplight as a “trigger” to take one of the three actions mentioned in 1 Thessalonians 5:16, 17, and 18?
How often do you and I simply rejoice?
The next time you pull up to a red light, rejoice. Praise God for who He is. Praise Him for the beauty that surrounds you. Rejoice in your salvation, or grace, or the hope of glory, or…
I don’t know about you, but I hit a lot of red lights. More often than not, I end up using that time to listen to a song, tune in to sports radio, or complain about the fact that I hit so many red lights!
What if pulling up to a red light caused you and me to pray for someone? Anyone. A child. A friend. Your kid’s school teacher. The owner of the store at the corner where you are stopped. The person in the car next to you.
If you and I are going to “pray continually,” maybe a whole lot of 1-2 minute prayers will get us headed in the right direction.
Give thanks in all circumstances.
We live in a society that thrives on complaining. Complaining about politics. Complaining about education. Health care. Traffic. Busyness. Media. You name it…we’ll complain about it.
What if you and I spent our “stoplight time” giving thanks? Giving thanks for a person. Giving thanks for something you have. Giving thanks for an ability God’s given you. Giving thanks for God’s creation. Giving thanks for something as simple as the meal you recently ate, a conversation you recently had, or a compliment you recently received.
There is much to rejoice over, pray about, or be thankful for. Much more than we could cover in all the red lights we will ever stop at.