Field Notes From A Prayer Warrior

-Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things.

–Colossians 3:2

-Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

–Romans 12:2

-Me: Be kind, you never know what someone is going through.

Also me: Nice turn-signal, $%#@%&!!!

–popular meme

Traffic.

Ugh.

The Achilles’ heel of my faith walk.

It’s all joy and Jesus’ light until I get behind the wheel, and then…uff da…all bets are off…

Someone changes lanes, almost shearing off my front bumper…another weaves, attempting to text and drive…a jam at a random, non-rush hour time of day…and my FAVORITE…

Construction zones.

Because it’s summer, and gosh, I’ve missed them sooooo much!

In the days of my “old self,” I was a veritable virtuoso of cussing (in multiple languages!), packing an additional repertoire of decidedly “un-Christian” gestures that I employed early and often on my lengthy commute over the highways of New Jersey.

Old habits die hard.

But the Spirit was like, “Hey! A growth opportunity!”

Sigh.

I didn’t want to give it up! I mean, it was terribly (pun intended) satisfying. I needed to expend that rage. Wouldn’t it be unhealthy to hold it in?

He just crossed His arms, and I withered beneath His placid, penetrating gaze…

I threw up my hands. “Okay, okay! Lord, may all my thoughts, words, and actions honor and glorify You…especially when I’m driving!”

Phase one…substitute words: “Fuuuuuudge! Firetruck! Shucky ducky!” (Don’t judge.)

Phase two: “Really? REALLY? REALLY?!?!”

Phase three: “God bless you, brother/sister! Have an awesome day!”

Phase four: With my tongue now tamed, my fists…and fingers…were poised to take over, and one day, as I loosened my grip (mentally AND physically), He swooped in…

“Shelbo, keep your hands on the wheel!”

Long inhale…long exhale…

“Okay, Lord. Thanks.”

Now, in general, I instruct myself before He has to. I find it doesn’t require QUITE as much effort (or teeth grinding) as before….that whole transforming and renewing thing asserting itself.

Whew.

As for construction zones, I can’t do better than my friend Stacey…

“It was the time of year when winter turns to construction season and I was super irritable. I have always said in South Dakota there are only two seasons: winter and road construction. Peace came over me that day, to look at construction cones differently, more like, ‘Caution is ahead; enjoy right where you are.’ …Slow down, use peace to proceed…instead of my own will, using His. God always has me right where He wants me one minute at a time. I need not rush through traffic (my life) using my will, but trusting in His will (construction zone)…the process of building and recreating to a beautiful completion.”

As we drive towards that beautiful completion…

let’s keep our hands on the wheel…

and proceed…

with His peace.

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