I was glancing out the window at an interesting landmark when I heard my three-year-old chattering along.
“Green means go. Yellow means slow.”
I whipped my head around to look at the traffic light we were speedily approaching, which had been green just a moment ago, and made a split-second decision to press the gas. My infant was sleeping in her car seat in the back, and I knew a brusque halt would jolt her awake. We easily cleared the intersection while driving under that yellow light, and I thought we were safe.
“Mama,” a surprisingly authoritative voice came from the back. “Yellow means slow down, not go faster!”
Why yes, yes it does. Hadn’t I just explained the traffic light colors to her earlier that week? Yet I was surprised to find my little mini-me eyeing me suspiciously in the rearview mirror.
“You’re right, sweetie,” I conceded, biting my lip to keep from smiling. “Yellow does mean to slow down. Mama made a mistake.”
She didn’t seem convinced.
“Next time,” I tried again, “I’ll slow down.”
With a curt nod, she accepted my explanation and proceeded to look out the window as we got on the highway. My husband seated next to me could hardly contain his laughter.
And while I was quietly chuckling to myself, the whole ride home, I kept returning to the scene of that stoplight. How often does the Holy Spirit issue a yellow light to my soul, warning me to slow down and carefully heed my surroundings, yet I speed through the moment anyway? Honestly, it’s more often than I’d care to admit, and I’m guessing you’ve had moments like these too.
- We run to the cupboard in search of something sweet to take off the edge of our frustration with the kids.
- We fill our Sundays with activities instead of filling our souls with rest.
- We swallow the words of the Gospel in neighborly conversation for fear of what they will think.
- We press play on that show instead of pressing into God’s Word.
And listen–there’s no condemnation here. I’ve done all those and worse. I would be a hypocrite to wag my finger in your face when obviously I’ve written all these from experience and run a yellow light beside. I’ll be the first to admit I’m not perfect, but that doesn’t mean the Holy Spirit stops calling me to holiness. And it’s God’s kindness that leads us to repentance–He wants closer, more intimate fellowship with us, and that’s only possible when we confess our sins and get right with Him.
So those gentle whispers from the Spirit, those yellow lights for your soul? Heed them. Slow down. Look around. See what He’s calling you to do, and then do it!
- Turn from the food cupboard and find satisfaction in Jesus.
- Block out some time each week to rest in God’s presence.
- Learn a simple way to present the Gospel and share the Good News with your neighbor.
- Set aside the phone or tablet and pick up the Bible.
Sanctification isn’t as complicated as we make it out to be. It’s simple, really. When we pause to listen to the Spirit’s caution to our souls, we allow Him to shape us into the people He wants us to be.
So whatever yellow lights you’re facing in your life today, slow down. Listen to His Voice. And obey.
Easy? Not always. But simple, yes. So much so that even a toddler gets it.