Thursday, April 02, 2009
The Traffic Jam
Late last week, my husband and I were hosting a birthday party for a business friend of his at a restaurant in East Dallas. The party was to begin at 6:30; we left Krum at 5:25, cutting it pretty close timewise. Of course, if I had been driving, we would have left earlier, but that is a story for another time!
After a brief slowdown on I35 at the south end of Denton, we enjoyed smooth driving through Lewisville and across town on the George Bush Tollway. Then we headed south on 75, the often infamous Central Expressway. A few seconds later, we saw flashing lights ahead of us. We both took a deep breath, expecting a major problem, and guessing we would be late.
As it turned out, the problem was on the northbound side. As we and all the other rubberneckers inched by, we could clearly see that it must have been a major accident. Two fire trucks, along multiple police and emergency vehicles, completely blocked the northbound lanes.
I decided to see how long the back-up was: turned out to be nearly five miles of non-moving cars. After that, cars were still traveling at a reasonable speed and I thought, “I wonder if they knew what was coming if they would have taken this route home?”
Which also led to this thought, “I wonder what changes I would make if I really knew the future?” And then I began to ponder this time in the Christian year when we move from Jesus’ celebratory entrance into Jerusalem, which we honor this Sunday on Palm Sunday, through the horror of the week to follow. That week when all betrayed him and left him to the mercies of those who, for reasons that surely must have seemed right to them, hated Jesus enough to condemn him to an excruciating death. What must it have been like for him to know what was coming? How he suffered! His agonizing prayer rings in my mind, “Please let this cup pass from me!” In the end, love overcame all, the love of all humanity that continues to betray the call of God upon up; the love of all humanity that is far more interested in inviting us into heaven than in condemning us to hell, the love of all humanity that finally says, “Father, forgive them because they don’t know what they are doing.”
Thank you, Jesus, for facing the future with love and courage, even as it took you all the way to death. Thank you for laying down your life for us. Help us to learn to do that for others.