When The Arrow Turns Green, You Turn

My friend, Mike, is quite a character. He loves to laugh, fish and think deep thoughts. He’s a great encourager and a wonderful tease.

Being with him is a hoot and a holler.

He gets a kick out of my knack for finding meaning in minutia. It’s really not that hard. My life is filled with the nit and grit of minutia. The big challenges come, affect me deeply and go. The minutia stays around, like mosquitoes in Florida. Just a sting away.

Mike and his wife, Marilyn, and John and I were driving together when we came to a stoplight with a left turn arrow. As the arrow turned greenimages-1 and we made the turn, he chuckled how that would be a good topic for a blog. “When the arrow turns green, you turn!”

He was right.

I’ve been at many a light where the arrow turns green and no one moves. Perhaps the person in the front is texting. (I’ve seen that.) Perhaps they’re taking on the phone and aren’t paying attention. (Seen that, too.) Perhaps they’ve dozed off waiting for a long light. (Done that.)

Whatever the reason, the response from the second car in line on back is to begin honking the horn. Not one quick tap. Really leaning into it to make a statement.

A statement of what?

That I’m entitled to get to where I’m going as quickly as I possibly can, hang all the traffic around me? That my destination is more important than anyone else in that line? That I’m so important that nobody dare slow me down?


That’s all well and good. Until I’m the first one in line at the light. And I happen to be daydreaming. Or stealing a quick look at a text. Or trying to text a quick message. Or napping. Or–perish the thought–on the phone.

imagesAnd I don’t move the split second the light changes. And a chorus of horns erupts behind me.

Dramatically I will throw up my arms in frustration and yell, “Really, people? You’re in that big of a hurry?”

It seems I operate a little differently when the shoe is on the other foot.

My dad used to say, “What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. Don’t act like you deserve privileges.”

I guess I didn’t learn that one so well as a kid.

The apostle Paul wrote that Jesus should be the example from which to pattern our own attitudes.

“Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand. Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of Himself.”   Philippians 2:4-5

How did Jesus think of Himself? Sacrificially. Willing to pay a price for wrongs He never committed. Because He loves us.

Never entitled.

Maybe if I thought of others as more important than myself–or at least as important–I wouldn’t be so quick to lean on the horn.

Thanks, Mike. Your insights got my wheels turning.

(Did I really say that?)

First photo courtesy of ebay.com

Second photo courtesy of streetsblog.net.

2 responses to “When The Arrow Turns Green, You Turn”

  1. Do you have to keep writing these convicting posts about selfishness?! 🙂 God must know I need lots of reminders! Thankfully they come from you with humor and grace!


  2. Ooo, that comment about entitlement really got me. Why am I so quick to feel offended, but so self-righteous when I offend someone else? Guess we need to take a good long look at ourselves. Thanks, Dayle, for giving me pause.


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