There is a traffic sign in our neighborhood that I’ve learned to ignore. It suggests I yield to a street that has almost no traffic. At best I slow a bit to make sure no one is coming. I certainly don’t stop. I guess one day I will get caught, but it hasn’t happened in nearly thirty years. I’m feeling pretty confident in my civil disobedience.
We daily face a spiritual “yield” sign as well. I often blow by it with as much indifference as I ignore the sign in my neighborhood. I often take God’s instruction to yield as a “suggestion” not a command. Sometimes I ignore it because it’s not specific enough. “Yield what?” I ask. I know the answer is “everything.” I don’t know why I even ask. I know I could at least start by yielding something.
Our failures to yield, I believe, are the reasons we have floods, economic downturns, personal tragedies, and political chaos. They are God’s attempt to get us to pay attention to the”yield” sign. It’s like posting a motorcycle cop on the corner where the “yield” sign has sat all these years.
Why don’t I understand that the command to “yield” isn’t arbitrary. It’s to keep me from the danger I get in when I try to run things myself. It’s to alert me as to just how unimportant are the gifts I’ve been given and how essential the Giver is.
Yielding is not the doorway to slavery; it’s the gateway to freedom. True freedom lives where we yield control of all to the only one who can see the road ahead, manage any roadblocks and arrange any necessary detours.
Maybe now when I see that neighborhood traffic sign, it will remind me of the importance of spiritual yielding. I sure hope so.