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The Stop

This respite from the go, go, go reset my mind, body, and soul. 

As much as I try to have a plan and stay organized, getting out the door on time continues to stump me. The other day, as usual, I was scurrying to the soccer field to pick up my son and a few of his teammates from training. Thanks to the miraculous concept of carpools, I had to drive only one direction, yet I was still scrambling to get everything done and got caught in the trap of trying to do just one more thing, one too many times. Nervous about the rush-hour traffic, I had given myself a cushion of time; yet, there I was rushing and imagining the four boys stranded on the soccer field. (I doubt they would have noticed my absence since I have to wrangle them off the field after practice anyway, but that’s a different post.)

I was also being impatient. Just because. I had found myself trapped in slow motion behind several Sunday drivers—didn’t they know it was a Wednesday?!?—on the two-lane road out of my neighborhood. Somehow they managed to sneak through the light at the foot of the hood, while I got caught. Stuck at a standstill. Staring at what felt like the longest light ever. The traffic piled up behind me while only a few cars zipped by in each direction before me. My frustration sprawled.

I glanced at the clock. How long are “they” going to make me sit here, I thought. This is the longest light ever. There are hardly any cars going the other direction. This light management sucks!!

The time again caught my eyes. It had been only a minute since I was forced to pause my haul. WHAT?!? I was certain I’d been idling there for at least 10 minutes. Ugh! I hate waiting. I was going to be late all because of that dumb light and those slow drivers. My mind wandered to where I would have been had the light not frozen me; almost to my destination, of course. Grrrrr!

Then I looked up and out my windshield. Right before me was one of the natural beauties of the South: marshland. The sun was beginning to slide down and settle in for the night. It was painting the sky delicate shades of orange and purple, a breathtaking sunset. The tide was high, and brackish water floated up amid the grasses and through the veins of the creek.

In my hurry and fury over the blasted red light, I was granted a moment of calm, natural beauty. Serenity. It was as if God was tapping me on the shoulder to say, “Ahem. Amanda, wake up. Be HERE, now. Take in this moment. This is what it’s all about.”

Time seemed to stop and stand still—in a good way now. The exact opposite of how I felt when I was focused on the light and the cars driving past me. Now, I breathed and smiled. I was flooded with reverence, grateful and in awe that this gorgeous view was on exhibit at—of all places— a stoplight. And one I pass at least 20 times a week. What a gift that probably goes unnoticed more often than not, by me and all of the other frenzied travelers focused on where we are going rather than where we are.

This respite from the go, go, go, reset my mind, body, and soul. It gave me a moment to realize how fortunate I am, and that flashes of grandeur and love abound. We just need to STOP—sometimes literally. Notice. And, allow them to embrace us.


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