Sunday, January 28, 2007

Idling in Everett

Another road trip to Bellingham this weekend (#1 offspring could have picked a closer college!)... and another metaphor emerges!

On the way up, we hit a major traffic tie-up in Everett and languished in the frustrating stop-and-go mode for 30 to 40 minutes. Yeah, I know, it wasn't THAT long! But I'm really not the most patient person with traffic jams. Maybe it's due to growing up in the wide open Dakotas. In any event, I can actually feel my muscles tighten, breathing get a little more shallow, etc. However, the road further north (safely out of the jam) had the opposite effect on my physiology. Driving down the open road and seeing the expansive green fields with mountain backdrop, I felt my muscles relax and breathing deepen.

And then the parallel hit me. The fact that I love driving but hate traffic jams reminded me of 'church'. My recent experience with LPC -- which I'm sure is typical of many mainline churches -- was like being in a traffic jam. Long time members create road blocks by insisting things be done the way they've always been done. Folks with hidden agendas on committees purposely move slowly in an attempt to prevent things from moving forward. Frustrating!

Since there was no end in sight to the LPC traffic jam, I took an exit -- one might say a frontage road! I'm not sure where this road will lead, but at least I'm finally moving forward, and feeling a sense of relief, freedom, and adventure.

I can't help but be perplexed. Why do so many people seem to prefer the traffic jam to the open road?


Rodger Sellers said...

Not to give the "jam-ees" too much of an excuse... but sometimes it seems like the "jam" is all they know...

And a "frontage road" is a complete unknown, that while it may be faster, more convenient, and a shorter route to the desired destination, scares the living hell out of those who've never been off the freeway.

Sometimes perhaps we simply have to travel the road, then decide whether we'll head the opposite way (on the "free" side of the interstate) to invite some of those "stuck" to take the chance we've already taken?

Don't know... just some ideas I thought I'd share! :)


Barb Berger said...

Thanks--great ideas! At some point I may need to head on the "free" side and invite some of those "stuck", but right now I'm just glad to be out of the jam! :)