Well Iâ€™ve been getting a taste of the Chicago traffic over the last couple of days. Yep. Itâ€™s about like I remember big city traffic. Lots of cars. Not much movement.
Man, I forgot how much I didnâ€™t miss it!
Yesterday afternoon I had to go back out to that place that was so hard for me to find the other day. This time I drove straight to it. I took care of my business and then headed back to the hotel room. Iâ€™ve been here long enough that Iâ€™m referring to the room in my mind as â€œhomeâ€.
I thought that as long as I had nothing pressing Iâ€™d try a different route â€œhomeâ€ this time. Iâ€™m not sure if I made a poor choice in my routing or if I was just a victim of unfortunate timing. I finished up with the barge I had to survey just before five oâ€™clockâ€¦
Anyway it took me significantly longer to get back than it did to get out there. The bumper to bumper stop and go traffic along most of the route didnâ€™t help!
I will have some business at the US Steel mill down there early next week and I was trying to arrange a security pass. I found out they take security pretty stinking seriously, which apparently means that they make it as difficult as possible for anyone to get on their facility so that any bad people will get so frustrated by the bureaucracy they have to get through that they give up and go somewhere else to wreak their havoc.
The mill is 100 years old. I found a historical photo album of the mill. And Iâ€™m here to tell you that many of the buildings on the place are the same as in these nearly century old photos (including the cranes which are still in use). I knew the place looked old, but holy smokes! I didnâ€™t realize I was looking at the original equipment.
Anyway the traffic heading back to my hotel was backed up and the trip once again took far longer than it would had I been the only one on the road.
The whole traffic thing got me thinking about something Jesus said.
“You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose the easy way. But the gateway to life is small, and the road is narrow, and only a few ever find it.”
Jesusâ€™ analogy of two thousand years ago still holds up in this modern automobile age. The back roads around here are typically passable and the traffic still flows. But the Interstates tend to get all jammed up with the crowds who flock to them. Now the Interstates are easier to find, easier to stay on, and donâ€™t have any traffic lights. But the side streets will get you there at a steadier pace. And if your way is blocked (by say a stuck draw bridge, a fire truck, or construction â€“ all of which have happened to me so far) you can go a few blocks around the trouble and still keep moving.
Of course the analogy breaks down somewhat because in our modern case both roads lead to the same place in the end. Jesus said that the easy way takes you somewhere else entirely.
By the way, I especially like the way this passage is brought to us in the Message.
“Don’t look for shortcuts to God. The market is flooded with surefire, easygoing formulas for a successful life that can be practiced in your spare time. Don’t fall for that stuff, even though crowds of people do. The way to lifeâ€”to God!â€”is vigorous and requires total attention.”
Kinda gives you something to think about the next time you are stuck in traffic, doesnâ€™t it?
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