New Traffic Pattern.

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, 

but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Romans 12:2a

There’s a new two-lane road in town. It was designed to redirect traffic flow around an unstable bridge originally constructed over a stream.

Veer away!

Veer away!

I’ve mindlessly traveled along the east-west road for the past eighteen years. It required no conscious thought or reasoning from my frontal cortex.

Until recently.

Squinting against the mid-morning sun, my eyes caught sight of a distinct orange warning sign up ahead.

New Traffic Pattern-picmonkey

The old road had become hazardous, deemed impassable, and had to be destroyed, requiring the strategic engineering of a new road to veer around it.

I’ve had to learn a new traffic pattern as road signs alert me to significantly slow my speed in order to safely bypass around certain disaster.

Made me think of my brain.

Being redeemed by Christ does not mean deeply ingrained pathways of negative thinking are eradicated. I’ve still got to tangle with the old sin nature status each time my thoughts take a destructive road trip inside the intricate circuitry of my head.

Slow down and breath

Slow down and breath

The critical compadres of grumbling, ingratitude, and complaint all begin to run amuck like little brain minions sounding the erratic pings of a pinball machine.

This alerts me to slow my breathing, tune into those voices, and follow a new traffic pattern beneath my skull, one that directs me around hazardous lies in disguise.

Old Traffic Pattern (OTP): “You’re fat.”

New Traffic Pattern (NTP): “No, I’m fearfully and wonderfully made with the power of God to exercise self-control.”

OTP (humph): “That dream of yours? Impossible!”

NTP: “Almost, Sherlock. Apart from God I can do nothing, but with God all things are possible.”

OTP: “He he. You weren’t chosen for the job. Rejected!”

NTP: “But a dearly loved, chosen child of God. His ‘no’ means He’s protecting me from something that isn’t His best.”

OTP (steady, aim…): “You’ll never experience joy.” (Fire!)

NTP: “Actually, Jesus Christ came to earth for that reason, that I would have joy in abundance.”

OTP (arms crossed, eyes to slits, sardonic grin): “Did God really say…”

NTP: “Stop right there, genius. You tried that ‘questioning God’s goodness’ tactic with Eve in the garden. It won’t work on me.”

OTP (puzzled): “Alright, then, you’re worthy of praise!”

NTP: “Clever. Appealing to my pride now. God commands that I have no other gods before Him, so I choose to steer clear of the throne. There’s only room for One.”

OTP (disarmed, turning dejectedly from the Road Closed sign):

Sorry pal, the road to destructive thinking is closed

Sorry pal, the road to destructive thinking is closed

“I give up. Seems she’s got a new traffic pattern.”

But my brain traffic still becomes snarled. Doubt hinders the flow in and out of the city. Lies cut in front of Truth with a piercing blare of the horn. Makes for anxious and confusing moments.

When the old traffic pattern of thought attempts to travel within the deep rut of destructive thinking, I’ve chosen to apply the brakes, breathe deeply, meander around it, and take the pathway of true Truth.

It always gets me safely to my desired destination.

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, 

but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Romans 12:2a

Who’s up for a road trip?