The interstate was a parking lot. We were not even inching along. At this time of day, driving through the capitol city of Baton Rouge should have taken MAX 45 minutes. And here we sat. Fuming. It looked like our four hour trip was going to be stretched from here to eternity. To add insult to injury, our GPS lady suddenly piped up and snidely asked “Would you like to switch to pedestrian mode?” She had to rub it in, didn’t she?
Seriously folks. It happened. I can’t make this stuff up!
Sometimes, as I’m running hither and yon, with a to do list ten miles long, I need to remind myself to switch to pedestrian mode. Slow down. Be present in the now. Enjoy the journey. Cease striving.
“Cease striving and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10 (NASB)
Pedestrian mode is especially needed while I listen to the news. I hear about all the evil going on in this world, in our country, and even in my state, and stress level begins to rise like flood waters. At these times, the best thing I can do is to stop, be still. Sit with the Lord, and quiet myself and my worries.
“Be still, and know that I am God!
I will be honored by every nation.
I will be honored throughout the world.” Psalm 46:10 (NLT)
If we look at the whole of Psalm 46, it is a Psalm of praise to our God, reminding us in the very first verses that He is our shelter and strength. God is present to help in times of trouble. No matter if the trouble is political (nations are in chaos, and their kingdoms crumble! NLT, v6) or even if the trouble is a natural calamity (vv 3-4, NLT):
So we will not fear when earthquakes come
and the mountains crumble into the sea.
Let the oceans roar and foam.
Let the mountains tremble as the waters surge!
If you have listened to the news at all this past week, you will know that the traffic has stopped in Baton Rouge and the surrounding areas. The busy interstates have been covered by flood waters.
Now more than ever, we need to know that God is here. He is our fortress. The dictionary defines fortress as a heavily protected and impenetrable building. That’s our God. Protecting us with a solid wall of His love and power, from the floodwaters that rise.
“The LORD of Heaven’s Armies is here among us;
the God of Israel is our fortress.” Psalm 46:11 (NLT)
I love how The Message paraphrase states verse ten:
“Step out of the traffic! Take a long,
loving look at me, your High God,
above politics, above everything.” Psalm 46:10 (MSG)
The Psalmist is urging us to stop the busyness of our lives and look at God. But I believe another take away would be this:
When natural disasters come and people are hurting, don’t just speed by in your car. Don’t just look through the window and think “I wish I could do something.”
Get out of the traffic. Stop. Help. Get involved.
We can ALL step out of the traffic, and switch to pedestrian mode.
Goodness, I guess our GPS lady knew what she was talking about.
Grace be with you,