It’s all about perspective.
Sometimes in the middle of rush hour traffic, I’m struck with the immensity of it all—of our world and all of the people in it.
I think of all of the things that fill my life and as I look around, I’m struck by the realization that this mass of mostly hurrying people are all headed toward some destination just as important as my own. They are filled with the things of life common to all of us—various types of chores, to-do lists and relationships, attitudes and beliefs, hopes, dreams and troubles, big and small.
Yet each of my fellow travelers has a life and a story all their own.
I don’t know why this realization strikes me anew every time it happens. And when I’m unhurried and at peace, I can’t help but wonder about these strangers—who they are, what they’re thinking, where they’re going. In any given moment, some are happy and free; others are sick, stressed, sad or afraid. Some are desperate for hope.
The lone business person staring straight ahead. The mom in the mini-van full of rambunctious kids and floating balloons. The guy veering in and out of traffic to gain a car length. The rocking carload of laughing teens who don’t even notice that we are at a standstill. People talking, texting, singing, smoking, crying, honking, throwing up their hands in exasperation at other drivers, maybe at me…just sitting here looking around.
Psalm 102:19: “For He looked down from His holy height; From heaven the Lord gazed upon the earth” (NASB).
Sometimes when I’m sitting in traffic, I wonder how God can take it all in—how He can take all of us in…so many kinds of people with so many kinds of idiosyncrasies.
Yet He’s never surprised by the things we do, or the things that throw us for a loop. He’s got a big-picture view of it all, from beginning to end.
He knows our pasts and our futures, seeing what we cannot possibly see. He knows our hearts. And He loves us anyway.
Father, I just can’t fathom it. I get overwhelmed imagining what others are going through in just those cars closest to me during rush hour. How can You know every one of us so well, and care for us so deeply when we’re so completely self-absorbed that we rarely even think of You?
Thank You for loving us first. Amen.
* * *
Next time you’re stuck in traffic, take a look around.
Send a smile of forgiveness to the woman who just cut you off. Be patient with the driver looking at the kids in his rear-view mirror rather than at the car stopped just inches in front of him. Send up a prayer for the old folks deep in thought, and for the teens with so much life ahead of them.
And give thanks to the One who loves them all.