Man looking at red traffic light

Stuck at Red Lights

This week features a guest post from Rev. Brookelynn Chesser, a missionary who currently works in a church’s Volunteer Ministry. Brookelynn has the incredible skill of translating an everyday event into a learning opportunity. I know you’ll enjoy her unique perspective on waiting at a red light.

Man looking at red traffic light
Stuck at Red Lights
Darius Bashar

Have you ever felt delayed? Like maybe you missed your chance or couldn’t move forward, even though you knew where you wanted to go?


While on my way to work one morning I was in the left turn lane awaiting a green light.  Once the light turned, it felt as if only myself (who was 7 cars back) noticed it was our turn to go.  After a couple delayed seconds and car horns later, I finally reached the front of the line, but it was too late the light was red. I wish I could say I channeled my inner Letty from Fast and Furious and raced passed the oncoming traffic in my 1971 Jensen Interceptor all to receive a nod of approval from Vin Diesel. 

But I didn’t. 

Instead, there I sat. Now at the front of the line. Frustrated and angry with whoever had caused my delay.  I began to look around at every other lane that seemed to be moving. I even picked up my phone to check the time…more than once. I became so distracted that I was now on track to make the same mistake the person in front of me had made. Somewhere, in the midst of what seemed to be an eternity waiting for that light, I started thinking about the person 7 cars behind me. 

I could continue blaming the people that were before me. I could keep looking around at everyone else going places except me. I could persist in checking the time, thinking about how I missed my opportunity or it was too late for me. 

I could do all those things. 

But again, I thought about the person 7 cars behind me. 

That person would also miss the light due to my lack of focus.  

Unless I changed the pattern. 

You might be in a similar place right now. At a red light, just waiting for it to change. Maybe you missed your chance to go, or you arrived too late, or someone else blocked your path. Whether or not you understand where in life you are currently (or why you are there), we always have the opportunity to chose our attitude. And our focus. 

Instead of getting caught up in why we’re stuck at a red light, or start looking around because we’re bored, we can make a choice to stay focused on where we are going. 

Remember that if we allow ourselves to be distracted, we might not only miss out on our “turn” but actually cause someone else to miss their “turn” as well!”

This week focus on choosing not to delay in anything: Paying that bill, sending an encouraging text, starting that new project you have been afraid to start, you fill in the blank___. Whatever you have been putting off…now’s the time! Even if you’re not where you want to go yet, we can still stay focused on our end goals. 

Ready. Set. Greenlight!

Enjoying the blog? Or have a topic you’d like to see covered? We’d love to hear from you! Send us an email at info@volunteeru.org.

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