The other day I was reminded of a game we played when we were children called “Red light, Green light”. It was one of those outdoor games we would play in the evening before the street lights came on. (Surely some of you know what the street lights coming on meant!) To start the game off one person would be chosen as the leader to call out “red light, green light, yellow light, stop” to the others who were lined up on the opposite end of a field, playground or even a street with little to no traffic coming through.
Once the leader of the group started to call out “red light, green light” those of us in line were preparing ourselves to either go, stop, or slow down based on which light the leader chose to call out. Sometimes the calls were done very quickly so there was hardly any time to move forward before we had to stop or sometimes the calls would give us enough time to make several steps towards the leader. Now if you got caught moving when the leader yelled stop, you had to go back and start all over. Sometimes you would start over by yourself or there may have been others who had to start over with you. The ultimate goal was to see who would cross the finish line at some point to get to where the leader was waiting.
This game I played in my childhood made me think of how life can be. In our journey through life, we may start off with a certain group of people, but lose connection with some of them along the way. For example, there are those you may have started with in kindergarten. Some made it all the way with you, some may have finished a year later, and there may have been a few who skipped ahead of you. And then there were some, who did not go all the way to the 12th grade; mainly because they fell so far back they dropped out. Perhaps the idea of continually starting over again was too much pressure. We may not always get to finish where we started or with those we started the journey with, but we should still continue on the journey.
As we played this game, when we heard “green light”, we could run or walk fast. Hearing “yellow light” was a sign we needed to slow down. When we heard “red light” we were supposed to stop. If you played this game, did you always listen for the command to come from the leader in front of you or did you try to figure out for yourself what the leader was going to say next? Now take some time to think about who or what was leading you at a particular time in your life. In other words, did you go to God in prayer for Him to lead you or did you try to make it on your own? Did you let fear, pride, unforgiveness, shame or failures slow you down?
As I mentioned before, the ultimate goal of the game was to get to the finish line where the leader was waiting on you. The leader would wait and continue to call out instructions and our mission was to move according to what we heard. I believe the point of me recalling this particular game was not only to focus on how we move during certain life circumstances, but more importantly, how we should listen to God’s voice giving instructions to each of us. God gives us instructions in His Word. He allows us to hear His voice. He gives us chance after chance, even when we don’t respond correctly.
“Red light, green light, yellow light, stop”. Listen! That’s God being our Good Shepherd. That’s Him leading us in the paths of righteousness. That’s Him being our Way Maker. Even when we experience darkness in our lives, He is with us. It is His grace and mercy that follows us all the days of our lives.
Father, thank You for being our Good Shepherd. Thank You for always leading us in the right direction and showering us with Your wonderful love. Thank You for ordering our steps and being with us every step of the way. Bless us to hear You when You speak to us. Give us discernment and give us clarity to know when we should move, pause or stand still. Father, remove all stumbling blocks out of our way and make every crooked path straight. Forgive us for trying to go our own way and lead us to the way everlasting. If we ever feel like giving up, because of the challenges we face, please revive and restore us. We pray these things in the mighty name of Jesus. Amen!
Isaiah 48:17 “This is what the LORD says, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: I am the LORD your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go. (NIV)
John 14:4 “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (NIV)
Matthew 6:13 “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” (NIV)
Proverbs 20:24 “A person’s steps are ordered by the LORD. How then can anyone understand their own way.” (NIV)
Philippians 3:14 “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (NIV)
Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; And lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct thy paths.” (KJV)
Isaiah 40:31 “but they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk and not faint.” (KJV)