Friday, June 22, 2012

No Thru Traffic

 Sometimes, some little oddball thing hits me as a perfect spiritual analogy.  This week, it was a map of 'improvements' made to an interstate interchange back home in Indianapolis, one that was definitely a part of my ancient history.

 The shopping center that we would patronize when we needed to shop for school or Easter dresses or fabric is just off of the lower right corner of the photo (courtesy of Google maps--ignore the yellow lines for now).  There used to be a Frisches' Big Boy at the first intersection after crossing the overpass, which was where 'dinner out' was until Burger Chef opened a couple of restaurants out our way.  I drove this way when I went to work in town before I got married and moved to the South. 

Coming in from the northwest is I-74; technically, that road exits to the crossing interstate loop, I-465, and proceeds around the south end of town  concurrent w/465, where it exits off the southeast corner and heads off to Cincinnati. The roadway, however, continues across 465 and turns into Crawfordsville Road, which eventually dumps into 16th Street and continues right into the downtown area.

Nice and clean, if you're going into town via I-74.  It was a bit of a pain if you wanted to go north or south on the loop, as those old style cloverleaf interchanges did not leave much room for acceleration/deceleration and it could be very tricky  to merge into the traffic lanes through vehicles that were trying to exit.  So, in the interest of Public Safety, apparently the State of Indiana is working its way around the 465 loop and redesigning all the overpasses.  Here is the NEW (although I'm told it's still in progress) I-74/I-465 exchange, again, courtesy of Google maps
Notice that the offending cloverleaf interchange has been replaced by a collection of ramps and lanes that will be much safer for exits and merges.  However, apparently one can no longer travel from I-74 straight onto Crawfordsville Rd.   All traffic must exit. What was once a straight piece of continuous driving is now replaced by an exit ramp, a left turn and a right turn...although the right turn may be negligible.

I was dumbfounded when I saw this.  I agree that the cloverleaf was not the best idea, but it astonished me that replacing that also removed the nice straight piece of road from the interstate to Crawfordsville Rd.  And, I suppose, I was hit with a huge wave of 'it's not like it's supposed to be!' that seems to be part and parcel with seeing old familiar things changed by the passage of time.

That's a lot of introduction to say that I have hit this same scenario over and over this week.  In some cases, I've been the person arguing to keep the through road, but those in authority say the necessary changes are going to have to make the through road go away.  In other cases, I've been the one pointing out the problems with the cloverleaf design, but I'm going to have to be satisfied with only a partial fix to the problem.  In other cases, I'm looking at the old interchange and trying to decide if a complete overhaul will really be worth the inconvenience and expense after its all done, knowing that any discussion of changing the awkward but familiar interchange will not be popular, and that the reconstruction process will be demanding.

And I keep coming back to these maps and feeling like they are describing life. Change is inevitable, adaptation is necessary. Whether I agree with the changes or whether I am able to get anyone to agree to my suggested changes, ultimately all of us involved are trying to hear the Father's heart and do what pleases Him.  If I'm wrong (and I often am), He will straighten my thinking out.  If I'm not wrong, then He still has the situation under control and will eventually bring things around to where they need to be.

It doesn't do any good to get frustrated with people, because they are doing the best they can.  Frustration with people only causes division long as we are expressing frustration with people we cannot seek God's solution to the problem. 

This always brings me back to Romans 8:28 - We are assured and know that (God being a partner in their labor), all things work together and are (fitting into a plan) for good to those who love God and are called according to (His) design and purpose. (AMP)

And if His plan now requires that something I used to take for granted now needs some thought and planning and a different approach, well, the sooner I quit, um, expressing my frustration, the sooner we can get on to His plan and see how it really is all going to come together.

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