Traffic Jams and Close Calls
Updated: Feb 26
I just dropped the kids off at school when a family of ducks attempted to cross the busy street. The mama duck was followed by 7 of the sweetest little baby ducks you can imagine. They waddled out into the street when a massive truck raced by, oblivious to their family. The mama duck flew ahead to the side of the street in a panic, narrowly missing being run over, leaving in the truck’s wake, a huddle of those sweet fluffy babies. The babies circled around each other and slowly moved back away from the speeding traffic.
The right lane (that I was in) was stopped at the light, waiting to turn. As I sat watching this little family try to reunite, a construction worker in a massive truck in front of me stepped out of the cab. He raised his hand, stopping oncoming traffic, and slowly helped nudge the babies to the side of the road. The mama duck and two other ducks were frantic on the sidelines, watching their helpless babies.
The gentleman got back in the cab when his colleague noticed the babies couldn’t hop up onto the sidewalk. He proceeded to get out and gently lift them up over the curb, then smiled as he walked back to the truck door. The babies formed their little line, following their mama into the nearby pond.
As the light changed, and we started moving again, I couldn’t get the image out of my head. This family, caught in rush hour traffic, in a world massively larger than them, narrowly avoiding danger as cars race past at the speed of light.
There are so many lessons I could glean from this experience.
I had thought about doing exactly as this man did, but the oncoming traffic was so fast and I was afraid of getting hit myself. Does that make me cowardly, or smart?
I didn’t think to take out my phone and video this heroic rescue. Because those two men really were heroes today. And yet, a video going viral won’t give them the satisfaction they already feel watching that duck family reunite.
There are so many allegories that could apply here, my mind is spinning.
The one that is most vivid is this – How many of us feel like we’re that mama duck, navigating through rush hour, doing our best to keep our family safe, only to have our attempts thwarted. We’re stuck on the side of the road, watching our babies (or our business, or our marriage, or our family) huddle together under duress – us feeling helpless, unable to reach them.
If you’re a woman of faith, you may see as I do, that the man who rescued the babies represented God. This immense presence, keeping a watchful eye on the traffic, looking lovingly on those helpless babies, taking action when the time was right, and leading them to safety.
As I navigate a growing business, attempt to keep up with all my kid’s activities, and keep my home from turning into a garbage bin, the primary thing that’s helped me keep my head above water is entrusting my life to my Lord. I’ve been doing to challenging work of building boundaries in my work relationships and the time I spend working on my business. Yes, there’s work I’m responsible for, but as I attempt to manage the unmanageable, it’s abundantly clear that all the success I experience is a direct result of His Blessings in my life.
It occurred to me in a conversation with my business coach the other day, when I trust God to bring the right clients and opportunities my way, it takes the pressure off. I may not get the glory, because God's the One who brought the opportunity, but then I also don’t have to be burdened by shame or failure when things don’t work out as I’d planned.
I’ve been hearing the mantra, “It’s a learning experience” a LOT lately. Every potential client that says “no,”
every challenging project that keeps me up at night, these are learning experiences that help me move forward with confidence to the next opportunity that comes my way. I’ll admit, I’m pretty tired of having to go through all these “learning experiences” again and again. But, I suppose that’s the only way to grow.
It comes down to this, we all have days when we’re racing through traffic and nearly lose something of great value. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. You aren’t the only one on that road. It’s ok to ask for help. And even if you don’t know how to to ask for help (I know, I don’t speak duck!), recognize the people who see something wrong and reach out to support you. Allow them to be the hero for the moment, let them lift you up.
Then, when you see someone else struggling, be the hero for them, pass along that encouraging word, that tangible reminder that there IS good in the world, there ARE good people in the world, and we are all better when we support one another.
Finally, take comfort in the fact that God’s in control. He’s got your back, and while He deserves the glory for all the good things in your life, that also means, He’ll take care of the times when you fall short and need a little lift over the curb and into the safety of the pond.