Weekly Update: “Life Construction”

tumblr_inline_o7hn9hd74y1qb9fa2_400Hello there, my good friends!  What a wonderful day it is!  The sun is shining, the grass is green, the birds are chirping, and I…have been holed-up in my house all week attempting to nurse myself back to health as I suffer from a nasty case of strep throat.  Spring is the worst time to be sick.  All you want to do is go, go, go–and yet your body is telling you to slow, slow, slow.  I feel like a small child stuck in her room with the chicken pox as she watches the rest of her friends enjoy the world’s best birthday party–complete with live circus animals and fire engine rides.  It stinks… 🙁

All this “slow, slow, slow” that I’ve been forced to trudge through this week reminds me a little bit of road construction.  Back in Minnesota, where I come from, we have a slogan–“There are two seasons in Minnesota:  Winter, and Road Construction”.  Now, I’ve been here in Wisconsin long enough to realize, it’s the same here.  As the snow has melted and the daylight has stretched out into the evenings, I’ve noticed bright orange cones and flags “springing up” all over the place–like the tulips and the daffodils.  I’ll be going along on a road that was perfectly unfettered the day before, only to find it suddenly blocked-off, partitioned, detoured, and waylayed.  A trip that would normally take fifteen minutes can suddenly turn into thirty.  It’s a frustrating experience.

But there is something–dare I say it–“nice” about those road construction times.  There’s something about forcing us to slow down, to watch closely, to be cautious, to pay attention, that is helpful and even a blessing to those of us that live lives of busyness and hurried-ness.  As you slow down to make sure you don’t hit a road construction worker, you notice how hard those men and women are working out there in that sun, or rain, or wind.  Maybe you say a little prayer for them as you pass by.  As you detour around your normal route to a road that you haven’t traveled in a while, you notice neighborhoods and houses that are part of distant memories, and you’re transported back to a simpler and happier time.  As you stop at a one-lane road to allow the opposing traffic to cross by, you’re able to look around at the beauty of nature, and bask in the warmth of the sunshine shining into your car windows.  And as you weave through partitions and lane markers, you’re able to marvel at the amazing and arduous process of what it takes to build a new road–or to fix the ones we have.  For truly, everyday, something new is taking shape.

Sometimes, God puts “Construction Zones” in our lives.  Sometimes, God makes us slow down–even stop–because we’re driving too fast, rushing around without looking, or putting on “cruise control” when we should be paying more attention to the lifts and bends of the road.  This week, I’ve been in a “Construction Zone”.  I have to tell you, for the most part, it’s been rough.  I want to speed forward, but physically, I can’t.  There’s God standing there, His orange vest on, caution cone in His hand, saying, “Nope.  Slow down.  Take it easy.  Mind the detour.  One-way road up ahead.  Speed breaks comin’ up.”  And so I slow down.  I stop.  I take a breath.  And I take the time to look around and see the things that I would have missed had I been driving at my normal pace.

And you know what?  God does things in those “Construction Zone” times, if we let Him.  He works on us–smoothing new tar on our cracks, putting in new pavement, new lane markings.  He repairs us and strengthens us.  But we have to go through the process in order to have that happen.  We have to “slow, slow, slow”…

Are you going through a “Construction Zone” in your life right now?  Is God making you slow down, or even stop, so that He can show you something, tell you something, or do something in your life?  Maybe you need a rest, and so God is gifting you with that.  Maybe you need to be changed, and so God is working to move the rubble in your heart so that He can start building.  Maybe God wants to show you something, and so He’s slowing everything else down in your life so that you can see what His hand is holding out to you.

“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.  He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He refreshes my soul…”–Psalm 23:1-2

God’s making me slow down this week.  Maybe He’s inviting you to do the same.  Slow down, and listen.  Hear what He’s saying to you, see what He’s showing you.  Feel His love, and His presence.  Move into the “Construction Zone”.

Blessings to you, my Friends!

-Pastor Kristen