While We’re Waiting for Life’s Traffic to Clear

My recent guest post with Michael Hyatt featured a topic that seemed to resonate with a lot of people: 5 Ways to Keep Moving Forward When You Hit a Wall. I take it we all must feel like we hit walls often. One piece of advice I gave was to “refuse to come to a complete stop.”  That’s true when you hit a wall.

Sometimes in life we face a different kind of challenge. At these times, it’s not that we can’t see a way around or through the wall. In fact, we do see the opening, a crevice through which we can slip to enage the next level of success. It’s right there.

We just can’t reach it.

Not yet.

I think of David after he had been secretly annointed the next king of Israel — then had to go back to caring for the sheep. In those seasons of eagerly waiting, it’s as if we’re waiting to merge with traffic. We can see an opening coming — just after the lime-green SUV with the bobbing Mickey Mouse antenna topper — we just can’t start forward.

Not yet.

Those tense times differ from when we hit a wall with no ready solution in sight. They require different advice.

Here are 5 ways I have learned — and continue to learn — to wait for life’s traffic to clear:

  1. Get a Coach. Find someone you can trust to give you a “backseat driver” perspective. I have enlisted a life coach through Ministry Coaching International with tremendous results thus far. I highly recommend them. But you don’t have to go to that extreme to get someone who’s been on the road before. As any driver knows, pressing the gas when you should be applying the brake can be deadly.
  2. Focus on the Basics. These eddies in life’s current can be welcome times for essential maintenance that you may have neglected in your life. By making sure you have tuned up all your core life systems, you’ll be ready to thrive when life’s traffic clears.
  3. Visualize Your Future — Every Day. While you wait, it can be easy to become frustrated as you impatiently tap the steering wheel.  By carving out intentional time each day — even just 20 minutes — you can focus your thoughts on what will happen after you make your move. Give yourself permission to visualize the next stage of the dream you’re about to chase.
  4. Adjust the Controls. You control how tightly you grip the wheel. You control the music playing on your iPod. Is your window down? A/C on? Your call. Change the settings you can change. Don’t sweat the stuff you can’t. You’ll be moving soon.
  5. Commit Your Way to the Lord. My faith in God’s providence guides my future plans. When I consciously acknowledge that my life, hopes, and dreams are part of a greater process, I find relief from the weight of them. Do you think it won’t affect your driving if you think the road ahead is a snarled mess without meaning or purpose? I’ve seen those drivers. It’s not pretty.

Finally, I hearken back to David as he patiently waited for the royal traffic ahead of him to clear. He didn’t take action on his own to force the transition though he had ample opportunity, and even just cause, to do so. Instead, he seemed to focus on becoming a more effective leader while he waited. He focused on developing his reliance on God through that challenging season of life. Sounds like a plan.

What tips do you have for those times when we must wait for life’s traffic to clear? How do you eagerly wait for the opening you already see ahead? Share your comment for all to grow.

About Bill Blankschaen

Bill Blankschaen is a writer, author, and speaker who empowers people to live an authentic life with abundant faith. A former pastor, Christian school leader, and master teacher, he is the founder of FaithWalkers (Faithwalkers.com) where he equips Christians to live an authentic life and a blogger on faith and cultural issues at Patheos and TheResurgent.com. He is the author of several books including A Story Worth Telling: Your Field Guide to Living an Authentic Life, What God Wants You to Do Next, The Secret to Explosive Personal Growth, and multiple collaborative books including his latest with co-author Erick Erickson — You Will Be Made to Care: The War on Faith, Family, and Your Freedom to Believe (Regnery, February 22, 2016).
In addition to his own writing and speaking, Bill helps other people and organizations tell their own story in effective ways. He comes alongside authors as a collaborative writer, handcrafts engaging materials as a content creator, and creates an effective brand strategy as a platform developer with his team of creatives and digital technicians. (BillintheBlank.com)