Ode to Traffic School

Bob was late and Jan was really very tired.

She for fate, and he, for fear of being fired,

Compressed the metal to the waiting floor,

Confessed within to driving sixty-four,

And let it loose midst stress to play the happy fool.

Not in the least obtuse, and yet, they’re both in traffic school.

And by their sides are Mary, Sally, John, and even Jim,

Anticipating scary films and lectures dull, and bleak, and grim,

Lost to opportunity today in commerce and in study,

Cost in dank impunity, fear the teacher is a fuddy duddy.

Tension seeps within collective pores.

Apprehension sleeps, introspective snores,

Fears of hopeless hours of endless pain,

Tears and jeers, nor flowers of potential gain.

Resentment festers for the unjust writ.

Contentment? Jesters only know its bliss.

To wit: We do not wish to be confined;

We do not wish to be maligned.

This never was our blessed choice,

And ever will our muzzled voice

Resist in silence, thus we deem,

The grist of this unholy scheme,

To take our money, time, and pride

From home and honey off our hide.

Beyond it all we only hope

Instructor may not be a dope.

And if ’tis true that there is life

Beyond this brew of toil and strife,

We’ll do our best to make the most,

And through it all to make this boast:

Although the task was far from cool,

We made the best of traffic school.

copyright 1994, Thomas B. Sims

Mercy, Lord

Empty handed, I come,

Cold hearted,

Weak willed Godward,

Stubborn selfward

Humbled by life

Broken against the rocks

Beaten by the waves

All my baragaining chips fell out in the fall

All my good excuses used before

Rubber necked, I cannot lift my head

Wobbly knees, hard to kneel

I fall

I fall down on my face

I bring nothing

Just me

Not much

Have mercy, Lord.

At the Crossroads

It has been many years since Robert Frost expressed in words what so many have experienced In life through his insightful poem, The Road Not Taken. When I taught English as a Second Language classes in our church in San Jose, I often had our advanced students study that particular classic of American literature as both a well written work of English composition and as an allegory to which they could readily relate. Each of them, mostly Vietnamese immigrants, had made a “crossroads” choice to leave all that they new and come to America.

When Abraham left Ur, the crossroad experience was profound. He could stay on the course of his father and remain where he was, or he could answer the call of God to leave for a mysterious country in an adventure of faith and utter dependence.

Moses was jolted from his comfort zone when he chose to identify with his enslaved cousins in Egypt. He committed a spasmodic act of rage and fled the country as a wanted man. He soon found a place of refuge and comfort in Midian. His crossroads experience with God at the burning bush led him back to Egypt that he might lead his people out of slavery and into freedom. And for them, the Israelites, it was one crossroads after another, each requiring risk, each demanding faith, each insisting that they look to God and God alone for their security and protection.

If you are facing a crossroads in your life, you are not alone. You are joined by a parade of cross-over people through history and by God Himself who is leading you over. Your assignment in this journey is to learn to listen and trust at a newer and deeper level. The circumstances are fluid, but the lessons are eternal. Take the road less traveled. Follow Jesus.

 

 

Deserts Green

For every river flowing free

There is a desert with a tree.

Unknown waters make it green,

Mighty rivers, never seen.

Deep within the dry, parched earth,

Roots run deep beneath the dearth.

Though the sky suspends its rain,

Sun beats down its scorching pain ,

Though none other blooms in sight,

Nothing robs it of its might.

It knows sources only few

Have known, afresh and new .

It has found the secret place,

Cooling streams, refreshing grace.

God speaks from that one lonesome tree

“Come to the stream, come unto me.”

God’s sentinel in deserts grim.

Drink from the stream that flows from Him.

 

© 1991, 2006, Thomas B. Sims, All Rights Reserved