Red Light Spill

This odd little writing (below) is a picture of a real experience that happened to me a few years ago. It came to mind because of a friend of mine who is laying down one important part of her life this week, to start another.
It's hard to lay loved things down. It's hard to start in a new direction -- even if it's a good direction. Sometimes it's because of a job, or a habit, or an addiction, or a relationship, or any other thing that is no longer what's best for us. It doesn't matter what the specific circumstance is ... sometimes the entire course of life-direction simply has to change. In times like that, God has to break my stare and get my attention.
This was one of those days. God used a spilling coffee cup to get my attention. But it wasn't about the coffee. It was about one of those loved things that, by faith, had to be laid down to die so new Life could begin. Honestly, now I'm more willing to follow where He points, because of this red light spill, and where it led me.
So, today, if you are at a crossroads ... if you know in your heart you are being asked to lay something down so new Life can begin ... if you feel that quiet inner nagging to trust and obey what you know God is asking you to do, maybe you need to hear me say this: "Just do it."



I could not make the choice
until God landed me at an intersection.
He told me to stop
and follow a different direction --
not left, right.
180 degrees. Opposite. Repentant.
And in the tension of halting,
it became apparent:
I had been driving on my own chosen road.
I had become a junky of my own making --
A mental prisoner in need of freedom.

As I was literally approaching a main stoplight in town,
He spoke through a woman’s words on the radio,
“Sister, if you know God is asking you to do something,
trust and obey.
Just do it.”

Five times over
With Nike determination
“Just do it.”

"Trust and obey... just do it."
In my heart, in that moment, I knew it meant

The yellow light in the intersection turned red.
Brakes screeched.
I lurched forward.
The coffee cup in my hand spilled wildly.
The chaos of a burning mess caused me jump, and wake to the danger of my course.
The scalding was confirmation;
The answer to many questions.

What spills out of my cup
when my life’s direction comes to a screeching red-light halt?

The contents of the cup that I hold and carry always with me.
The cup from which I constantly sip.

What is in it?
My daily dose of addictive, caffeinated soul-revving contents.

What is distracting me from my Jesus path?

My daily fix.
The thing that beckons every morning as a friend,
But secretly means my misdirection.
The thing that preoccupies my steering hand and steals my focus.

It is the thing I can no longer carry with me.
I can not drink it in, and expect to be able to drive my own life.
Set it down, dump it out, give it up.
Lay it down again and do not pick it up.


My first response after obeying the stoplight edict
Was longing;
Longing to catch-up to the car I was following
and re-engage, re-ignite, reclaim that road.
A nagging lure to go back and regain what was lost,
traveled with me,
Awkward and uncomfortable.

But, over time, on a new path
I discovered a clear and confirmed grace.
In the providence of God’s redirecting voice,
there is preservation, strength, transformation.

Stopped. Spilled on. Scalded.

This is God’s real grace and love for me.
It is God at the Stoplight,
And me, covered with providential spills and stains
A humbled mess
waiting for directions.
willing to follow
a better road.

"Obedience is the road to freedom, humility the road to pleasure..."

C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory and Other Addresses




Laura said...

okay, this needs to be published somewhere. beautifully written and powerful message. i continue to be one of your biggest fans . . .

JoAnna said...

I've been following your blog for a little while and just had to comment on how pertinent this post is in my own life today. Thank you for putting your thoughts down - you've spoken to more people than you know in this - I, too, am at a crossroads, and needed to hear that it is OK coming out the other side when we follow God's leading. Even if it hurts at the time.

Kleigh said...

I'm so happy you found something relevant for your own crossroads. 'Sounds like you know what it means to be spilled on. It's amazing how we all hand each other needed truth out of our shared experiences. Thanks so much for sharing yours... I'd love to hear what you learn coming out the other side. Press on, Friend. Don't lose heart.