The yellow school bus bounced along the highway, while the noise of 50 children bounced off the walls of the bus. It was a busy field trip to the local zoo with kindergartners and first graders. Lots of excitement. Lots of joy. Lots of noise.
The bus driver had her rules, and the children were expected to obey them. Sit in your seat. Keep your hands inside the bus. No eating or drinking AND when she approached a railroad crossing, at her signal of two fingers held high in the air, the children were to stop talking until she looked, listened and crossed over the tracks. Once it was safe, then the fun and laughter could resume.
STOP! LOOK! LISTEN! It’s a law. When a bus approaches a railroad crossing, the driver is to stop the bus, open the doors, look and listen for a train. If all is clear, the driver carries on. I suspect it came from a load of bad experiences. I don’t even want to go there in my mind. The level of tragedy is too great for me to handle today.
Each time we stopped though, and I heard the noise level go from a roar to almost complete silence, I was reminded that I need to stop, look and listen.
When we come to a crossroads, a place of potential danger (and let’s face it we do, in big and little ways each day, on this bumpy journey called life), we approach crossings where we must make decisions. Our physical, emotional and spiritual lives may be in danger. Sometimes (not all times), tragedy can be avoided, when we are wise and seek God.
At these junctures, we can STOP -- stop what we are doing, and make a conscious effort to quiet ourselves and prepare to LOOK and LISTEN for God. We need to look at our circumstances and our thoughts in light of what God’s Word and His will. We need to ask Him to help us make a decision, chart a course, or turn the other way. We need to ask Him to help us to see when and where danger may be coming down the track, and make sure that we avoid it or let it pass us by, not collide with us. We need to listen to His voice, the promptings of the Holy Spirit in our hearts, and discern what God is calling us to do.
We are such a busy people, aren’t we? We have a lot of loud background noise bouncing off the walls of our hearts and minds. Places to go. People to see. Pain to process. Influences of the world pulling at our way of thinking. Lists and lists of things to do. We need to slow down and STOP, LOOK and LISTEN to what God is revealing to us in every part of every day. If He cares enough about the sparrow (and He does!) then He certainly cares enough about us, but are we taking time to look and listen for Him?
I know I need to be more aware of it. Oh, sure, in the crisis times I call out, but it is in the mundane of every day that I wax and wane. I’m working on it. Maybe you are, too. Let’s continue to encourage one another on this journey.
“Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to His voice, and hold fast to Him” (Deuteronomy 30:20).
Have a blessed weekend!