Major road works are underway near my home which has involved the shutting down of a roadway for almost a year. A couple of weeks ago, the much-welcomed three-way intersection serving that street was re-opened. Our neighborhood anticipated much relief in the expectation that congestion would be eased and easier access to our homes would be restored.
How wrong we were! With a combination of misleading road signs, inconsistent opening and closing of the street, stoplights wrongly set, and inadequate road markings and signage, the result has been total and dangerous chaos. Trucks have ignored the lights altogether, assuming nothing has changed, drivers have risked life and limb when claiming the new right-of-way, and others (myself included) have chosen to go the long way round in order to avoid the problem altogether, while the neighborhood website has been ablaze with complaints and frustration.
I can’t help be struck by the patterns of our human response to a problem – barreling straight through on the assumption we must be right, attempting to claim our right to be there, total avoidance of the issues, blaming other people, or publicly voicing our woes into electronic ozone.
As St. Paul’s continues to move through transition, it helps me to remember how important it is to work together for the common good in order not to become captive to traffic chaos by risking our souls on any of those human behaviors that separate us from the love of God and each other. Our All Saints' celebrations this past Sunday exemplifies the glories of being a community of hope, faith, and love even though there is great diversity of spirit among us. It is a rare commodity in our broken world and a great treasure we can share. We can indeed choose to push on through regardless or we can pause to look around us, pay attention to our fellow travelers, marvel at the richness of human experience, and smile as we continue to travel towards God’s intention for the creation.
As Julian of Norwich, who we encountered again last Sunday, said, “All shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.” That is the promise we have chosen as truth and we can depend upon it.
The Rev. Sue Eaves