Two days ago, I was driving home from work, I had worked a little later than usual and the road was slightly deserted at the time. As I approached Ozumba Mbadiwe Road, a car sped past me, it was going so fast, its rear lights were all I saw in a few seconds. I was so ‘tripped’, it felt like I was watching the scene from a movie. But then just ahead, there was a traffic light and I couldn’t help laughing when the driver screeched to a halt as the traffic light turned RED. Your humble self drove and slowly brought my car to a halt beside the guy that just sped past me in his Porsche Panamera. Trust me, I flashed him a nice victorious smile and he smiled in return. Ha, yes, as fast and expensive as his car was relative to mine, there was no ‘beef’ but we both had to wait. The traffic light had humbled us both as it had the few cars which had to park beside and behind us whilst we waited.
As expected, my victory was short lived, as soon as the lights turned green, thanks to his engine capacity and the pretty deserted road, his car sped ahead and when I got to the toll plaza, a few hundred metres ahead, there was nothing about him or his amazing car to whet my sore eyes. I smiled at the realization that he was in his own lane, kitted with his own car knowing that we would both get home regardless. I didn’t attempt to compete, that would have been foolhardy. Truth is that, our races are different, naturally so. No matter how fast I drove, I would be putting myself in jeopardy if I tried to compete against a guy driving a car like that. Was my speed good enough to get me home in record time? Yes!!! And get home I did. Did that stop me from admiring his Porsche on my way? No. Regular time for him would be a stretch for me so I should be content with the best my car can do and express gratitude for making it home on time.
Regardless of where we were headed, we both had to slow down at the traffic light, even if we got there differently. He sped his way there and had to screech to a halt whilst I got there driving at a slower speed. I believe that in some way, everyone faces the ‘traffic light moment’ at some point in their lives that forces them to slow down. Everyone has something they are dealing that is hurting them just as yours is. This slow down moment may not present itself the same way in actual terms but whatever car they may be riding, Porsche or Honda, that event forces them to a halt as it does you.
Understanding that you aren’t defined by that traffic light moment is key. The STOP sign at the traffic light is necessary to ensure order and sometimes those delays are all you need to sort your life out and gain the needed traction. Instead of berating your car and comparing it with the Porsche next to you because of how you both arrived there, why don’t you get yourself in order and prepare for the drive ahead the moment when the light turns green? There is a reason amber means get ready, and it comes between the ‘painful’ RED that forces you to STOP and the ‘joyful’ GREEN that frees you to continue your journey. Take it as a cue to slow down and prepare for the next season so you can thrust at full strength with no mishap.
If you currently are in a ‘traffic light moment’, you aren’t alone. Smile in spite of the pain, (this too shall pass), hope for the amber, and then celebrate the green. Whilst you wait, change the music playing in the car, adjust your seat belt, smile at the driver in the car next to yours, (they just may need whatever encouragement you can offer) and wait for the lights to change. Be assured that they will.
Whatever, you do, don’t stop. There is a lot more ahead.