There is one intersection on my commute home that most assuredly drives me nuts every single day. This T intersection and I have had heart-to-hearts many an afternoon. To the right side of the T, about two football fields away, is a very busy intersection with a stoplight. To the left are miles of country road with two major residential outlets, the first of which is about the same distance away. At the end of each day, without fail, my what would be ten second left turn transforms into ten minutes.
As I pull up to the stop sign, there is usually a long line of cars coming from the right due to the green light. By the time it lets up and I’ve got room to go, I quickly check to my left. Unfortunately, there just happens to be a single car coming from that very direction ready to pass by at the exact same time that I need to pull out to make my turn. So, I wait.
Upon the passing of that car, I check to my right. As luck would have it, all the cars that have been yielding at the opposite red light have turned right onto this road, which means I still can’t make the left turn. By the time all those additional cars from the right are gone, I check to my left once more and, by golly, there are more cars coming from that direction traveling just fast enough to prevent me from making my left turn…again.
As the other cars finish passing from my left, I turn to my right and, would you believe, a car from the road I’m presently on has stopped at my right and is getting ready to make a right turn. Unfortunately, since there is a hill, I cannot see past this car to know if there is more traffic coming from that direction. It is only after it has completed its right turn that I am able to get a clear view of the road, and, as fate would have it, the light down at the busy intersection to the right has turned green again and the cycle repeats.
Now, today I randomly started analyzing my reaction to this situation. What’s the big deal that the ten second turn ends up taking ten minutes? Is it really that big or a deal to wait? The truth is, no matter how well I can justify to myself why I should be able to make a ten second left turn at that intersection, it realistically won’t happen at 5:00 p.m. on a week day, so it is no use fighting it. What makes me so much more important than any other person on the road that wants to get home equally as much as I do? Nothing, that’s what. I’m sure some of those people have had a worse day than I have and some have more than three-and-a-half mile drive home.
Instead of using the ten minutes to let my impatient selfishness get the better of me, I realized I can have a better attitude, like: 1) be thankful for my first chunk of uninterrupted time for the day or 2) enjoy the beautiful fall colors of the trees in front of me or 3) appreciate that in less than fifteen minutes I will be able to sit down on my living room couch. These may seem like insignificant things, but they truly are some of God’s many graces that he daily bestows on us. Taking the time to notice makes all the difference.
What are some of your favorite daily graces? Which ones have you recently been overlooking?