Traffic jams are a lot like life. One minute, it’s Friday afternoon and you’re doing 65 mph as you head home from work to begin your weekend. The next minute, you’re putting your foot on the brake as you see hundreds of brake lights up ahead. Instantly, you get sick to your stomach. Your best laid plans have just changed. As your thoughts turn to your son, you realize you might not make it back in time to see the second half of his soccer game. But, you remain optimistic.
Soon, cars begin to jockey for position on the highway. You observe a driver two cars ahead of you attempting to weave her way over through 3 lanes of traffic. But, other drivers have the same idea. They want to get to the exit that’s a mile away as well. So, they ignore her blinker and refuse to let her into their lane. Suddenly, you hear horns blowing and witness the exchange of angry hand gestures.
This amuses you until you realize your car hasn’t moved in two minutes. First, it’s a sigh, but then you verbalize it: “I am not going anywhere!” You look off to your right and witness a black sports car racing down the breakdown lane. You wish you could get over there, but it’s impossible. Even though driving in the breakdown lane is illegal, you wish it was an option for you.
As you’re lamenting your fate, you look further down the right lane just in time to watch the black sports car skid to a halt. A trailer truck driver decides that what’s good for everybody else will be just fine for the driver who suddenly finds the path to the exit blocked.
When you’re stuck in a traffic jam you see human nature on display. The longer you sit there the more of it you’ll observe. Some will gripe about such an inconvenience, while others will rage against it. It’s the rare person who can shut off their engine and crack open a book and read as they patiently wait for traffic to finally move again.
What type of person are you? Do you come out swinging whenever you find yourself backed into a corner? If you hit a legal obstacle on the path to your dreams, do you ignore it thinking it doesn’t apply to you or do you pay a lawyer an ungodly sum of money to find a way around the law? If a family rival threatens your future inheritance, what tactics would you resort to in order to stop them?
As turn to Genesis 30:25-43, we find in Jacob the epitome of a person who lives by the mantra: “Desperate Times Demand Desperate Measures.” He may have faith in God, but, he has yet to learn how to rely on it when he finds himself cornered by difficult circumstances or under the thumb of a shyster.
God allows people to face challenging circumstances and to deal with difficult people. As a result, followers of Jesus are not immune. So, we must decide what measures we’re going to take when we face desperate times…
This article is an excerpt from my sermon series in Genesis. All are welcome to join us for worship this Sunday at 10:30 am. Lighthouse Community Baptist Church is located at 22 Pequot Trail in Pawcatuck.