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Stop Signs

Stop Signs

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Category: Just for Women

I think it was because my window was rolled down a few inches that he bothered to yell at me.

Otherwise, he might have just left it at that disgusted frown and shake of his head. But his driver's window was cranked down, too. We both were looking for the relief of breezes from that sun blazing down. So when we turned north off the 4th line, down at Knapp's corner, our dusty van barely paused there at the intersection. He didn't even have to lean over when he hollered at me. "There's a stop sign there, you know!"

Color, shame, floods my cheeks. But before I can nod, mumble an apology, he and his diesel pick-up rumble off. "That wasn't very nice of him. You had stopped, Mom." Joshua's passenger seat defense tries to soothe. "Why did that man yell that?" Hope turns back after the truck's dust cloud, looking for answers.

Flustered, I carefully scan to the west, then east, then west again, before creeping forward through the intersection. And then manage a feeble explanation. "He was concerned I wasn't going to brake in time. That I hadn't seen the stop sign. It scared him. And that's fair."

The wind blows through our open windows, our hair. In the rush of spring, I wonder if each of us replays his words again, the scene, reading his anger as fear. But maybe they don't, their young faces silently watching the meadow slip close to the road with its petticoat of white trilliums. Maybe it's just me thinking about stop signs nearly missed.

I'm like that. Always rushing, hardly braking in time, off again. In a hurry. So much to be done. Or so I think.

What hard stops in my life have I been driving through — or hardly pausing for?

How often am I mindfully slowing to intersect my time with God? Early, throughout, and late. Or do I barely make meaningful time at anytime in my day to commune in lingering, unhurried ways with God? Some days, yes. Some days, no. There are too many rolling stops.

The meadow retreats and waving fields of greening wheat lap up along the roadside. The children, hands pointing and voices sure, debate whether that farmer is planting corn way off in a field on the horizon, or if he's drilling in beans. And it's just me thinking about stop signs nearly missed and slowing to meet with God.

I'm listening to the prophet in a pick-up: There are stop signs here, you know. So I'll stop and linger long in prayer.

To avoid life crashes.

Lord, if life is crashing ... have I been running stop signs?

Today, it's all speeding by so fast, I simply have to stop and pray.

About the Author

Ann Voskamp
Ann helps us see "the holy" in laundry, listening, and liturgy. Her blog, "Holy Experience," is a fresh breath of air for the soul.

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