1997-08-05 - Traffic Lights
1 Peter 3:9, The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.?
If time could be turned back, this is the day that I might choose to turn it back to. 83 years ago today, a decision was implemented in Cleveland, Ohio that has forever changed our lives. This incident has cost us all countless hours, and all at five-second to 10-minute intervals. This incident affects us many times a day, and I am not embarrassed to say that as a result of this incident, sometimes I go nuts. On August 5, 1914, the first electric traffic light was installed in Cleveland, Ohio. If time could be turned back, I might go back to this very day, rip the light down and say, "You can not fathom what you have just started. Rethink this. There will be no end to the increase of (their) government." (Isaiah 9:7)
From time to time, we lose things. Patience might be the thing we lose the most. Losing our patience might be one of the most unChristlike acts we can engage in. Christ is endlessly patient with us. When we sin, Christ is there to forgive, seventy times seven times seven times..., it seems. The loss of patience that often affects us the most is when we lose it with each other. When someone we know, whether they are dear to us or a thorn in our side, does that "thing" or cops that attitude, our fuse is nonexistent, our response is automatic. This is, to put it gently, sin. The patience of Christ to us is a wonderful example of how we should live. We are to, "Have this attitude in ourselves which was also in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 2:5) Christ is again and again in the Scriptures patient.
Christ's parable on forgiveness in Matthew 18:23-35 should remind us the importance of both patience and forgiveness. These two often go hand in hand. This passage ends with a terrible conclusion in verses 34, and 35. God does not have to be patient with us, He is under no obligation, as with Korah, Dathan and Abiram, who opposed Moses (Numbers 16). But we have all experienced God's loving patience, and it is something that we should thank Him for today.
"Where there is no patience, there is not even a spark of faith....Patience is the fruit and proof of faith." John Calvin
Soli Deo Gloria,