Wind rushed past me and then at my back. My ears filled with the low buzz of tires on asphalt followed by the shrill honk of a car's horn. "What the...?"
I turned around and hurried back to the curb as fast as I could. The auditory cross walk was still intoning, "Walk...Walk...Walk." But I was wiping dirt, scattered by the oncoming traffic, off of my face instead.
Something was terribly wrong. I was on the right corner. I'd pressed the button on the crosswalk and the computerized voice told me I was clear to cross the street. Why were the cars barreling toward me as if I wore a red cape in the middle of Pamplona?
I used my cane to find the cross walk again, pushed the button beside me and turned to wait for the cross walk to tell me traffic was clear again.
Once more, when the cross walk said "Walk" I stepped out into a throng of cars speeding around me. Everything around me told me I was doing what I was supposed to in order to safely cross the busy road. My instincts argued with my thoughts as I stepped from the curb and a car blared its horn at me again.
"Stupid crosswalk is broken," I mumbled under my breath, now safely back on the curb. "If the city doesn't keep these things repaired, someone...like me...is going to get killed." This particular cross walk was on the busy corner of 700 South and River Road in St. George, Utah. Compared to 6 th south in Salt Lake City or the Time Square crossing in New York City, its not that dangerous. but there are 6 lanes North and South and 5 turning from east or west. I decided with all the traffic noises, I'd never figure out when my lanes were clear. It was too loud. I used the GPS on my phone to make sure I was where I thought I was...and then I prayed.
Its always amazing to me that God teaches me things one morsel at a time until I understand volumes. This day I had an entire library downloaded into my brain in those few moments when I asked my Father-in-Heaven to get me across the street. He didn't part the traffic like the red sea. He didn't surround me in a protective bubble to keep the cars from hitting me. He didn't make me invisible and move me 'through' the traffic. Instead, my mind filled with the image of the sidewalk on which I stood. The enormous pole holding the buttons to the cross walk appeared in my head and I saw arrows pointing the direction on the button I was pushing.
The button to cross the street pointed the same direction the side walk headed, south. I was crossing the road, west. I pushed the button going the direction I was walking and then I turned to cross the street. The crosswalk wasn't broken. I was doing my very best to make the right moves. I was listening and being careful. I, however, had changed direction, meaning to do it, but ignoring the signs all around me that I was doing it wrong. God allowed me to walk into traffic, twice, without getting killed, as he waited for me to stop thinking I saw clearly. Getting smashed by a car going 50 miles an hour is a high price to pay for using the crosswalk wrong. The laws of justice however, don't take that into account.
So often we walk through life, absolutely sure we see clearly. We know we're doing what's right. We are where we're supposed to be. We're following all the rules and commandments. We refuse to 'see' that we're walking out into traffic. Cars will zip past, honking and spitting dirt in our faces, but we insist its the crosswalk, or the cars, or the idiot's who don't see or pay attention to the path we're on. All the while, the problem is much simpler.
If you find yourself, working hard, following all the right instructions and still struggling, it might be because you've changed direction, listened to the wrong voice, or blamed someone else for something you must fix in yourself.
Our own foolish pride makes for dirty glasses through which we observe the world around us. The answer is to clean your spectacles instead of waiting for the view to change. Its the only action you can take to cross the roads by which you find yourself standing