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10 Minutes Peace

    by Susan McGrath

"Traffic Jam"
Date Posted: June 19, 2004

All of us at one time or another have been in a traffic jam, whether rush hour on the freeway or fighting our way out of a parking garage after watching our favorite team win.

Traffic jams are usually to be found in a metro area or, in the case of my small town, after a sports or school event. There are times after ballgames in our little hamlet when a police officer has had to direct traffic from the school, and it still takes twenty minutes to thin out the cars.

In the last couple of years two new church buildings have been built across the street from my home church. Both are well-attended and have many active ministries.

Although our schedules are not identical, there have been several Sundays in the past few months when I have left morning worship and had wait several minutes to pull out onto the street because of cars leaving the other two parking lots.

This happened recently and I think I had to wait over three minutes -- a long time for a residential street in my town. It was almost like a school or sports event! In fact, it occurred to me that if the traffic got much more congested, we would need to call in a traffic cop.

I realize that for many large congregations this is already a real concern, but wouldn't it be wonderful if the general population were so eager to worship and know the Lord that church parking lots overflowed and traffic lights had to be activated for Sunday mornings? What if we showed such love and reached out to so many that dismissal of our worship service looked like fans streaming out of a major league ballpark? (All the time -- not just for concerts or Vacation Bible School or old home week!)

Not that any of us enjoy being stuck in traffic, but if this were a major problem being faced by congregations everywhere, wouldn't we shout, "Hallelujah!"?

Or would we complain that "it's too crowded" and "we don't know all these people" and "things aren't like they used to be", and "we'll never get to the restaurant before those people from the church down the block," and on and on?

Hmm . . . I wonder why we don't have more traffic jams after church?

Matthew 28:19 says, "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you." (All nations would include our nation, our city, our neighborhood.)

As you find your ten minutes' peace this week, pray for revival in your congregation and community. Ask God to show you how to reach out to those who need to know Him and where you can minister best in your church.

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Biography Information:
Susan McGrath is:

a recovering journalist trying to encourage others and glorify God through writing;

living the small-town life with husband Tim and sons Lincoln, 12, and Sawyer, 6;

completing a few put-off writing projects while using chocolate for therapy.
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