Thursday, January 12, 2012

Red Light/Green Light

Do you remember playing that game when you were a kid? You know, one person is the stoplight, and the rest of you are racing to see who can reach the stoplight first. The stoplight turns their back to the players, saying “green light,” so the players take off running. At any time, the stoplight can turn around, saying “red light,” and the runners have to freeze. If you don’t stop dead in your tracks, then you get sent back to the start line. We played Red Light/Green Light alot when I was a kid--you only needed a few friends to make the game work.
For some reason, I was thinking about this same concept this morning, but in reference to our relationship with God, and to being obedient to His voice. (Work with me here...)
I’ve been thinking alot lately about how Christians operate. Like when someone says, “God spoke to me...” or “He’s leading me to...”, what do we really mean?! I’m speaking from personal experience here--there are plenty of times when God clearly speaks to me, and in most cases, I am excited about sharing those whispers with others. I know that some people sit there and think, “what does she mean, God speaks to her?”, “God’s never spoken to me”, “did God REALLY speak to her, or is that her excuse?”. I know this, because sometimes I find myself thinking these same things, and I’ve also had people say those things to me. Anyway, moving on...
When it comes to obedience, it’s easy to use excuses, or to be obedient because we’ve told ourselves that God spoke, but really, our human flesh was the one speaking. It’s easy and comfortable that way. But, it gives us a false sense of direction, thus leading us away from His purposes. 
I feel like there are two popular ‘schools of thought’ when it comes to obedience. The Red Light School (this is where I’m going...) are those who stop running towards the stoplight until they hear “green light.” I am an expert in the Red Light School, especially when I’m unsure, or I clearly know that God is asking me to do something that I don’t want to do. And then, we have The Green Light School. These students run and run until they hear “red light.” Sometimes I play by these rules...especially if things are going well, things are easy or I’m enjoying life. 
Now, I’m not saying it has to be all of one way, and none of the other. And I know that probably most of us spend time in both schools (I hope I’m not the only one). Now, here’s the thing. Taking the Red Light option is fine--it’s cautious and there’s time to ‘think and pray about things’ (you know, because you really want God’s will for your life). That’s great--if you’re actually using the time you’re stopped to pray and seek Him! However, we can fall into the familiar trap of analysis paralysis. I’ve been here too many times.
Lately, I’ve been challenged with the idea of the Green Light School. To keep running towards the stoplight (ahem, Stoplight) until I hear “red light.” To run hard and fast; the goal is the get to the stoplight first, right? Instead of being paralyzed because I haven’t heard God say “Go here, do this, say this...”, I must realize that I am already called to go, do and say. If I’m not going, doing and saying then I am not being obedient. 
In this new year (Happy 2012!), I want to be running so hard and fast after God (The Stoplight...just in case...) and His heart, that I just keep running until I hear Him say “red light.” I will say, I am a HUGE fan of the ‘red light time’--silence, solitude, prayer, listening, meditation, rest, etc. I’m looking forward to mixing the schools--running hard and fast, but taking that much needed time to stop and rest. It’s imperative that you stop to rest, listen, reflect and readjust. That’s the order to know God more, we have to do both! So, here’s to a Red Light/But Mostly Green Light 2012!

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