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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Space (01/23/06)

TITLE: Rush Hour Contemplations
By Michelle Meyers
01/26/06


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“Oh no folks. Looks like the traffic has come to a standstill on 205. The cars are bumper to bumper and going nowhere fast. Get out your cell phones and phone home - you’re gonna be late!”. Why do radio traffic reporters get enjoyment out of telling us about traffic jams? I reach over and click off the car radio as I sit in the middle of the mess on 205. I shouldn’t be surprised - this is a nightly occurrence. I shift in the driver’s seat, adjusting for the lengthy drive home. Leaving work on time never pays off because I just end up sitting on the freeway along with hundreds of other commuters. I gaze out over the river as I inch along, moving every 30 seconds or so. I repeat a verse that I long ago memorized , Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer (Romans 12:12, NIV). I think being stuck in traffic would count as an affliction. I pray for patience, searching for even a ounce of it within me. “So many people”, I mutter to myself. The oversized SUV behind me just came up a little too close for comfort, his headlights momentarily blinding me. I feel like yelling out my window, “Give me some space!”, but, not wanting to cause an incidence of road rage, I wisely kept it to myself.
Sometimes I question our choice of living in this urban sprawl. Both my husband and I have good jobs, a nice home in the suburbs, quality schools for our kids but what is the price? Driving on the freeways, our cars packed together like tin cans full of sardines. Our neighborhood is beautiful but the homes sometimes feel too close. I realize this every time I am at the kitchen sink washing dishes and my ever cheerful neighbor waves a hearty hello from her kitchen window. At times like these, stuck on the freeway in traffic or on display in my kitchen window, I find myself longing for wide open spaces. Sometimes I picture rolling green hills that go on as far as the eye can see, with horses grazing peacefully. Other times I image a beach that stretches on and on. I can feel the crisp sea air and smell the ocean. And the sound of the crashing waves is like no other on earth. It speaks to me of the majesty of our Creator. And then there are the mountains. Breathtaking as they reach towards the sky. I think of a beautiful mountain meadow, nestled amongst the peaks, scattered with wildflowers. Psalm 24 comes to mind : The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it ( NIV). My heart aches for the chance to just sit and gaze at God’s creation, soaking in every detail, renewing my soul.
A blaring car horn pulls me back to the reality of a packed freeway. It’s the guy in the SUV. I missed my turn to roll forward. I sigh deeply. I wonder about the cost of being so far removed from nature. I think God created us to be in and amongst nature, not indoors day in and day out. Our souls may suffer far more than we realize from this lack of time spent in the space of the great outdoors. It may be easier to come face to face with our Lord when immersed in His creation. I contemplate this as I pull into the right lane, my exit just ahead. My gaze shifts again to the river as I wait in the long line of cars waiting to exit. To my surprise, the view takes my breathe away! The river is awash in the brilliant light of the setting sun. The surface of the water sparkles like so many diamonds, brilliantly refracting the sun’s rays. What a majestic sight! I smile realizing the irony of this glimpse of nature’s brilliance from a dirty, congested freeway. Just when I think I’ve got things figured out God gently taps me on the shoulder and says look at this. I say a silent prayer of gratitude for this unexpected view of God’s hand at work as I head for home.


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Member Comments
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Marilyn Schnepp 02/01/06
Just a little helpful hint; in order to bring Readers to your door - you have to make it "Reader Friendly". By this, I mean separate it down to readable paragraphs, a few smaller ones to make it an easy and delightful read.
Virginia Gorg02/02/06
Sunsets are spectacular visions of God's creations.
I agree with the comment about this needing more white space.