Merge Right

traffic with construction arrow for people to merge right

One night, my wife and I were driving home, when we came up to a long backup, due to construction. I knew it was coming though, for several miles before the actual merging of the lanes, it was hard to miss the orange construction signs saying, “Left Lane Closed Ahead” and “Merge Right”. So I merged over early.

Now, I’m the kind of guy who’s always hated it when cars stay in the lane all the way up to the last minute, forcing their way into the front of the line. I also think they should be pulled over for doing so, treated like one who didn’t see the change in the speed limit. I mean, it’s not like they didn’t see the warning signs ahead of time! And if they actually didn’t, the bright yellow, flashing arrow pointing right, should’ve tipped them off. But yet, they still continue down the closing lane.

At the same time, though, I’m also the kind of person who’s happy to let somebody in if they put on their turn signal (“ask and you shall receive”). So I’ll back off from the car in front of me to create enough space for somebody to merge in, should they choose to do so. But what amazes me is that, for instance, today I gave enough room for 2 cars to merge in, but instead, everybody continued down the closing lane. Even as we approached the end, still, nobody took me up on my offer to let them in, as if they were hoping to find a “better” place to enter up ahead. But the longer they prolonged merging over, the closer they got to not getting in at all, or smashing into the barrier at the end.

Well, as this is all going through my head, I realized the comparison with God’s grace and salvation. See, Jesus revealed many times that He’s the only way to Heaven, as well as the fact that the end is coming very soon. In other words, the lane we’re traveling down is ending soon and we need to merge over into His. He even gave (and continues to give) us signs along the way.

There’s only One lane into which we need to merge, and the merging space is narrow. So Jesus opened up some space, so to say, and continues to wait for and invite people to accept His offer to merge in. But like with the traffic, many don’t want to accept this simple offer. Instead, they want to continue on their way to the very end, maybe even trying to find a “better” way to enter.

So they ignored all the signs, rejected the simple invitation to safely merge, and continued until the end down the closing lane. Not very wise, or safe, is it?

OK so now you’re driving a car down this road…which “car” are you driving? Have you already accepted Jesus’ invitation to merge right, into the space that He’s opened up for you, or are you one of those who continues to reject it, hoping to find a way in on your own, or still searching for a “better” way? If you’re the second, be careful that you don’t wait too long, or you may instead end up not getting in at all, or smashing into the barrier.

The invitation remains open until the end, but do you really think it’s wise to prolong it?

2 Comments

  1. Hebrews 10:23–“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful”. Make the right turn to Jesus, who is not one of many mere OK ways, but The Way (John 14:6), without wavering, swerving, or getting sidetracked to the left or the right (Proverbs 4:27), because His straight path leads to true life and an escape from death (Proverbs 12:28, John 3:16).

  2. Andy, that was a great analogy! It just goes to show you the mantra of human nature is “me first,” and don’t give a damn about others. To me , a simple kind gesture by a stranger makes my day. Like in your example, when another driver waves back at you when you let them in the lane or when you are at a stoplight and let somebody turn through the opening of the long line. In today’s society, blowing your horn at someone is tantamount to the beginning stages of road rage. We all need to pause and really think about what we do to others, even to others we don’t even know. By being kind to others, you create an inner peace within yourself.

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