Jul 20, 2019 filed under Faith, Patience.

line of cars in traffic

In Alaska, they say that if you’re not the lead sled dog, the view’s always the same. Commuters often feel that way, too. My trip to and from work in downtown DC is 90 minutes each way. And the view’s always the same.

So how do I use the time? Some of it’s spent daydreaming or planning imaginary conversations. I’m on the lookout for clever license plates and bumper stickers – I want to jump out of my car and introduce myself to the owner of a plate that reads “S-THETIC” — I wonder whether someone whose plate reads “H8URPL8” is funny or spiteful or both. At stop lights, I dry my hair at the dashboard vents.

The best part of my commute is the time I spend praying. I pray to be reminded that someone else is in charge of this day, that I am loved and guided by divine providence at every moment, and that every person I come in contact with today is a gift. Even the lady in front of me applying mascara in her rear view.

My husband said yesterday, “God’s doing His part: the sun came up this morning. Maybe I can give Him the rest of the day, too.”

Although the parade of brake lights in stalled traffic is always the same, we have more choices about what we “see” than a sled dog has. Driving provides the time to check in with God and connect with his love, out of which all virtue is born. Looking up can change our perspective completely!

Scroll down and share the best way you spend the time when you have to wait for something.

Love always,

14 Responses to “In Praise of Brake Lights”

  1. Ckaire

    Every time I go out, I always pray the rosary and Divine Mercy.

  2. Diane Upham

    Dear Rose,
    Congratulations!! A job very well done, now on to unlimited time to create and more freedom to write, with room to grow as God leads you. So happy that you will be spending less time in traffic!! Looking forward to seeing you in the future!

  3. Rita Reardon

    Congratulations on your retirement Rose
    I am glad I purchased your Path to Patience mini-course (VirtueConnection.com/path-to-patience). I learned so many good tips. I really need to watch it again. When I have to wait for something I say the Hail Mary prayer. Yesterday I was in the dentist office for several hours I said the rosary it really calmed me down.
    Thank you for your service Rose

    • Rose Folsom

      I’m glad you benefited from the Path to Patience course and that you want to take advantage of your lifetime access to it. I have great news: this fall I’ll be offering the course with an added bonus: 5 meetings with me and with all the folks taking the course at that time. That’s to help folks finish the course and not put if off “for later.” For those who have purchased the course already, the whole thing will be FREE. I’ll keep you and everyone posted on when the 5-day “let’s take the course together” will be.

  4. LeahQ

    While I’m waiting. If it’s a place receptive to conversation, I like to chat with others around me. If it’s a very uncom,versation situation. I often say the rosary. Pray for others and sometimes plan the rest of my day. I’ve thought I should carry a small recorder and learn Spanish,while I’m waiting. I’ve not done that but should!

    I’m thrilled, for you, that your 9 to 5 days are coming to a close. I know they’ll be blesst, fruitful days for you.
    God Bless you and your retirement(?? ) ?‍???. Good Luck!
    Love, Leah?

    • Rose Folsom

      Thanks for the good wishes. I can’t wait to see what God does with this extra time. And thanks for sharing what you do when waiting. They say we have a Rosary always with us in our 10 fingers, so no excuses not to pray :). Practicing a new language — that’s a great idea, too!
      Love, Rose

  5. Tom Roberts

    I commuted via bicycle and it only took twelve minutes, downhill. I won’t talk about the end of the day other than to say it was an opportunity for aerobic training. There are few opportunities for prayer when commuting on a bicycle which requires heads up attention especially when weaving through stalled traffic much to the irritation of drivers who aren’t praying.

    This brings up the value of praying while waiting. Waiting can bring out the worst in us. Somebody else’s needs or wants are being fulfilled ahead of us. Sometimes Mother Nature blocks our way. None of us like being in circumstances beyond our control. The British subscribe to the idea of queuing up; we’re not as good at that. We’re apt to shave the idea with “After me you come first.” Oh oh!

    So what makes us happy and content: getting there first or maybe the Lord’s Prayer which reminds that we can ask him to cut us a little slack for our shortcomings? If we pray it often enough we might be able to understand that it’s our job to be as much like Him as possible and cut a little slack for our fellow human beings.

    Whatever the case, whether I’m waiting in traffic or waiting on the phone, praying can lift me out of the quagmire of “It isn’t fair” into contemplating the possibilities here on earth or with the one who told us “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.”

    • Rose Folsom

      You ended with contemplation of heaven — the ultimate way to spend time because, as you say, it puts everything else in perspective.
      Thanks for your comments!

  6. Barbara Kreutzer

    Congratulations on your retirement and blessings on your next phase of life! The best ways spent waiting in traffic? Doing those little isometric exercises to keep my God-given body strong, singing along to a Christian music station, and praying. Reading through the responses, leaves me with the impression God has sanctified our rush hours. All you praying people – I will never look at a traffic jam the same way again!
    The best way you spend the time when you have to wait for something in general? That sounds like great topic for a blog or seminar, Rose!

    • Rose Folsom

      Great idea on the isometric exercises. I’ll pass that one on! And my online course at virtueconnection.com/path-to-patience (only takes an hour total to take) will inspire you to want to spend waiting time productively, but goes into the what and why of it from a spiritual point of view. Patience is hard for me, so I’m teaching what I need to learn :).

  7. Sharon Brungard

    I am on the road driving a lot of the time. I spend my time thanking God for all my blessings, admiring His beautiful countryside, praying , listening to gospel music and just generally enjoying every moment I spend with Him.

    • Rose Folsom

      Hi Sharon,
      Sorry for the delay in responding. I’m inspired how you can see every moment as spending time with God. True how music can set a joyful tone for the ride!
      God bless,