I’m beginning to think the most popular color this summer is orange.
It’s not just because my granddaughter, who attends Clemson University, likes to see me wearing orange, which might be a bit confusing if I’m in the stands on Oct. 22 when the Tigers play the Syracuse Orangemen.
No, as you’ve probably guessed by now, it’s because of all those orange “cone zones” on the highways I’ve been traveling this summer! The orange is everywhere, whether I’m on Highway 10/371 going north or Highway 55/52 going south, heading east or west. If the color is consistently orange, then the redundant message on many signs is the same as this article’s title printed on the sign above.
During backups, MnDOT’s preferred plan is not one line of cars lined up for one mile in one lane, but rather two lines of cars lined up a half a mile each in two lanes. This is abundantly clear because the highway department has redundantly planted the above sign beside each lane across the roadway from each other.
Honestly, I’ve begun to take these signs personally, choosing to apply them to my faith life, remembering the prayer disciplines that help me during “backups.”
The traffic jams I experience might not seem so long if I take a two-lane prayer approach instead of a one-lane prayer approach.
Around the turn of the 5th century A.D., philosopher and theologian St. Augustine, Bishop of Hippo, famously wrote, “Pray as though everything depended on God. Work as though everything depended on you.”
I studied the “Confessions of St. Augustine” as a philosophy major with a humanities minor at the University of Minnesota and again at Luther Seminary in theology courses. Still, the practical application of St. Augustine’s teaching on prayer has become clearer and more relevant to me sitting through the traffic backups this summer.
His writings embrace countless subjects from original sin and just war theory to grace, freewill and predestination, but how wonderful to consider the interplay between praying and working as Godly means for just getting through life’s many backups more simply, effectively, and efficiently.
So often I waste energy and time thinking of ways to avoid life’s backups or finding ways around them when patient prayer and diligent work hand-in-hand with God will get me through whatever is ahead. If life is a journey, then my goal is simply to get through it with God’s help!
Praying as though everything depended on God is one lane in life’s roadway. Working as though everything depended on you is the other lane. Each must cooperate with the other.
Therefore, cooperation is important to remember on the highways this summer and every season!
Editor’s note: EPLN contributor Pastor Rod Anderson serves on the EPLN Board of Directors. Anderson is the former senior pastor of St. Andrew Lutheran Church in Eden Prairie. If you would like to contribute a faith-based column to EPLN, email email@example.com.