I think we can all agree that traffic usually ends up being one thing: Frustrating. Let’s be honest— it slows us down and prevents us from getting to where we need to go. Not to mention, we are surrounded by people who are also frustrated. It is even worse when we are trying to come home after a long day at work and find ourselves stuck in traffic.
I would like to share with you 3 reasons why I actually have grown to appreciate traffic. Please keep in mind that I am writing this from one of the biggest traffic hubs in the country— Los Angeles.
The ugly reality of traffic is that it forces us to slow down. If we don’t, we end up in a bad situation such as an accident, fender bender, or ticket. With this reality in mind, I feel that we are placed into a unique mental state of slowed down attentiveness. (Disclaimer: I am not encouraging you to to take your focus off of the road). However, while we are in this “slowed down attentiveness” we can become more and more aware of what the Lord is saying to us. (And yes, this would require us to turn off the radio.)
Let’s be honest, we can all use a bit of improvement when it comes to being more patient. Patience opens us up to be disposed to the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and it unites the soul to a virtuous life.
Aristotle once said:
Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.
The fruit of the spiritual life is the sweet love of the Lord that permeates within our lives when we slow down, set our schedules aside and enter patiently into the Lord’s time. This is the sweetness that comes from living the spiritual life. We can only fully taste the sweetness when we move past the bitterness into the sweetness and beauty.
We are all on a journey. Whether it is on the interstate, or a back road, or even a journey in our spiritual life, we are all trying to get somewhere. We are all sinners trying to become Saints, journeying towards our eternal home, which is Heaven. As I sit in traffic, I am reminded of that beautiful reality.
So, the next time you find yourself stuck in traffic, remember, to slow down, be patient and remember you are never alone on this journey.
Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy, that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few.
Robert Batch holds a degree in Communications with a Minor in Theology from Franciscan University of Steubenville, and is currently pursuing a M.A. in Theology online through Franciscan. He has a passion for speaking, lecturing, and teaching about the faith. He currently resides in Southern California with his wife Amanda.