When I was a child, I often played an outdoor game called “Red Light! Green Light!” The child designated as “it” played the part of a stoplight, forcing all other children to freeze on command.
Yes. I know. Playing a stoplight does not rank high on a child’s list of things to do today, but in a day when children actively entertained themselves rather than passively expecting to be entertained, being a stoplight was a highly desirable position.
Once someone was designated as “it,” everyone else lined up about twenty feet away. “It” would then turn his back to the others and call out, “Green light!” As the children ran toward him, he suddenly shouted out “Red light!” and quickly turned around. Anyone “it” caught moving would have to go back to the starting line. Whenever someone reached and tagged the human stoplight, that person would then get to be “it.”
As I reflect on this game, I am saddened to think of how often God still sees me caught up in this same childish thinking―still on a quest to be “it.” As an adult, this can only be viewed as a less than favorable position. If someone says, “She thinks she’s it,” I certainly don’t want to be the focus of their statement!
Psalm 37 tells us, “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord.” And in the same chapter, we are told, “Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him.”
Life is full of stops and goes. I often look at the stops in my life as being negative and the goes as being positive, but George Müller, a nineteenth-century British evangelist, stated, “The stops of a good man as well as his steps are ordered by the Lord.”
Nowhere in God’s Word is this truth more evident than when God led his children through the wilderness with a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. “Whenever the cloud was lifted up above the tent, the Israelites would set out; at the place where the cloud stopped, there the Israelites camped” (Numbers 9:17, HCSB). Both the stops and the starts were orchestrated by the Lord. For the Israelites, God was It, with a capital I, and they were to walk accordingly. No running ahead when God turned his back.
What about me today? What about you? Have you been running ahead of God lately? Every time we move outside of God’s direction, every time we desire to be “it,” we run the risk of being sent back to the starting line. Neither having to start over, nor being the stoplight is a highly desirable position. Proceed with caution!
Lord, help me to acknowledge you as It with a capital I, and to walk accordingly. Amen
“Since we live by the Spirit,
let us keep in step with the Spirit.” (Galatians 5:25)