I went out to the retaining wall along the highway in front of the church Monday afternoon to sit, to ponder, to look for God … if you will. I sat and listened to and watched the traffic go by. There is a lot of noise out there; the constant drone of the elevator, birds chirping, horns honking, and of course the traffic. It seems to come in waves a few moments of no cars then a glut of tractor-trailers, mini-vans, cars, and motorcycles.
They are all different in their own way. Some of them with business advertising on the sides, various state license plate, some with license plates designating colleges, radio stations, names, and other markers identifying the owner in a particular way.
It was interesting to note the people inside the vehicles themselves. Some were reading maps and magazines … even some of the drivers were doing that, some were singing, some focused on the road ahead and some gazing around even making eye contact with me as I sat there in the shade.
It was a good experience of connection and sometimes the lack thereof. I saw some people who knew me who waved enthusiastically, some who knew me who waved with a “I wonder why he is up to now,” look on their face, some who I knew were focused on the road ahead and had no clue they had just been pondered by the local United Methodist pastor. There were those who waved or honked and I did not have time to see if I knew them or not, and some who I know I did not know but still waved enthusiastically, but a good many of those who passed by looked straight ahead without a glance.
I think about the road of life if you will, all of us, traveling one way or another in one lane or another. I think one lane is not necessarily better than the other, though going the wrong way in the wrong lane is not particularly helpful. Of course one can carry any metaphor to one extreme or another to create a cause for conflict and disagreement. But as I sat there and pondered, wouldn’t it be nice, good, beneficial if we had some sense of connection, or at least felt some sense of respect, perhaps even responsibility for the others in the other lanes?
I must confess it was the ones who smiled and waved, whether I knew them or not, that created a stir in me and brought a smile to my face and a wave back. It is that connection that we all need to fill our souls and light our path. The author of Genesis tells us we were created to be in relationship, it is not good to be alone.
I pray this week you find that sense of connectedness in your life in whatever manner it comes along. Offer that connectedness to those you encounter be it with a simple wave and a smile or a phone call or to stop by and visit. It will lighten your step and lift your spirit.