Appears to Do Nothing at All

There are just some things you don’t forget. It’s not that they are important or offer words to live by but rather they are things that strike you as funny or odd. I was seventeen years old taking in-class driver training, not so much for the knowledge but more for the insurance discount. Because of this, I do not remember anything other than where the building was located and one test question: What does the button on the pole below the pedestrian crossing signal do?

The test required us to circle the most correct answer and my friend and I did!

Here are the answers as I remember them, see which one you think is the correct answer.

  1. Turn on the street lamp above.
  2. Interrupts the signal timing to allow for pedestrian crossing.
  3. Signal the local police that someone needs to cross the street.
  4. Appears to do nothing at all.

I am not sure if A and C are exactly the same possible answers as what was on the test but I do remember they were ridiculous. On the other hand B and D are almost word for word. If you answered B you have answered correctly according to the driving school. If you answered D you have answered correctly according to reality, at least my reality at that time.

We argued and we won.

It was more for pride than for the passing grade. We had been averaging ninety plus percent on our tests and this one was no acceptation but still, as teenagers will often do, we argued that the button appears to do nothing and that as pedestrians we often felt like we were left standing just as long as when we didn’t push the button. The teacher had to admit that whether it was our perception or reality, the button appeared to do nothing at all.

I am a little older now, okay a lot older now and things have changed.

The technology now employed does affect the Walk, Don’t Walk pedestrian signal and even changes the wait time between lights, most of the time. Still, I stand by my argument, the button appears to do nothing at all. When I am in a hurry or just being a normal impatient North American, my desire to get going makes it appear that nothing has changed no matter how many times I push that button. Trust me, the longer I wait the more often and the more rapidly I push that button.

My perception of my life isn’t much different.

I know the Bible says that God is working all things together Romans 8:28. I know that His ways are not my ways Isaiah 55:8. I know that the prayers of a righteous man are powerful and effective James 5:16. I know that faith the size of a mustard seed moves mountains Matthew 17:20. The nature of God, His perfect plan, prayer offered out of righteousness, and faith, tiny faith in action appear to do nothing at all. I am left tapping my foot, impatiently waiting for God to interrupt the current situation so that I can head out in a different direction.

It takes too long and everything I do doesn’t seem to make a difference.

If we are all honest, life as a Christ follower often feels like pushing the button to get the stoplights to change, everything we do appears to do nothing at all. As much as we hate this feeling it may be time to accept that this is the best way. The pedestrian walk button is the perfect metaphor for why our actions appear to do nothing at all.

If the light changed immediately after we pushed the button would we be ready?

If God changed the direction of our lives immediately after we decided we needed that change, would we be ready?

If the light changed immediately after we pushed the button would others be able to stop?

If God changed the direction of our lives immediately after we decided we needed that change, would others be ready to adapt?

If the light changed immediately after we pushed the button would we expect every button to work the same way?

If God changed the direction of our lives immediately after we decided we needed that change, would we think God’s timing was based on our perception of the immediate need for change, not His plan?

It often appears that our prayers and heartfelt longings do nothing at all.

When it came to the button below the pedestrian crossing signal it always appeared to do nothing at all but I had faith that at some point the light would change and I could go on my way. I trusted man’s creation of a road safety system to eventually allow me to move forward. When it comes to our lives we must do the same, we must have faith that God’s Christ follower safety system will eventually allow us to move forward.

If I can trust a manmade system to deliver the right outcome, I can trust the one who made man to do the same.

6 comments

  1. THANKS Dave,

    I think MY life has been stuck on the yellow {caution} light for eon’s {I’m 73 so I’m entitled to use that term}.

    When I first became involved in my Ministry; about 30 years ago, like you I was looking for the GREEN or the Red lights; often missing the yellow one. It was not until I was led to allow God to be in charge of my life, that the importance; the significance of the YELLOW LIGHT, slowly became apparent.

    Ask God if “THIS” is what He wants for you in the present moment, then cautiously proceed, trusting God to redirect you if it was not His Will.

    May God guide our paths my friend,

    Patrick

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The “close doors” button on an elevator also appears to do nothing at all. In fact, in my college dorm, students timed the closing of the doors with and without pushing that button and found no difference. That said, your point is well stated. J.

    Liked by 1 person

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