The Yellow Light Is Actually The Most Important

Any teenager approaching their sixteenth birthday knows the traffic light rules.  Green for “Go,” red for “Stop,” and yellow for “Speed up!”  Well, at least that is what they have modeled for them by the older drivers on the road.  If you trace the history of the traffic light, we learn that the “yellow light” was last to be added, and might be the source of many lives saved.  According to ( we have a 46-year-old inventor and newspaperman, Garrett Morgan to thank for the “warning light.”

Morgan, the child of two formerly enslaved people, was born in Kentucky in 1877. When he was just 14 years old, he moved north to Ohio to look for a job. Over the years he went from industry to industry, advancing at each post.  By 1920 Morgan had made enough money to start a newspaper, the Cleveland Call. With the addition of the newspaper and the money he had saved, Morgan was able to afford a car.  He soon learned that the streets of Cleveland were crowded with all manner of vehicles: Bicycles, horse-drawn delivery wagons, streetcars and pedestrians.  Streets that were originally designed for horses, were now clogged and hard to navigate.  The intersections were the most dangerous.  There were manually operated traffic signals where major streets crossed one another, but they were not all that effective. With just Stop and Go signals, there was no time for drivers to react when the signal changed. As the story goes, when Morgan witnessed an especially spectacular accident, he had an idea: If he designed an automated signal with an interim “warning” position—the ancestor of today’s yellow light—drivers would have time to clear the intersection before crossing traffic entered it. On November 20, 1923, the U.S. Patent Office granted Patent No. 1,475,074 to Morgan for his three-position traffic signal. He sold the rights to his invention to General Electric for $40,000.  As Paul Harvey would say, “now you know the rest of the story!”
I can’t help but think of this story and how a lot of people see Christianity and the Bible.  Most people look at the Bible as a big list of Dos and Don’ts.  Greens and Reds, if you will.  Unfortunately, this is why some reject religion all together and others embrace it in an unhealthy way.  Both ways of looking at the actual message of the Bible will not lead to the proper application of what it has to teach us.  It is convenient to break the Bible down to a checklist one can point to as accomplishment.  If I can measure myself against a list or another’s behavior, I can make a case for God letting me into Heaven.  The truth is that the Bible has more to say about that “yellow light” than the other two.  Yes, a lot of the Old Testament contains the Dos and Don’ts of life that God gave Moses when He was establishing Israel, but that was designed to set them apart from the other nations they were surrounded by.  The majority of the Bible is made up of the “cautions” God gives us all when trying to successfully navigate the road of life. Millions have missed out on the true message of salvation through Jesus, because they tried to beat the “red lights” of life, so to speak.  When their plan fails it is easy to blame God, religion, or His people for the traffic jam of life they are in.  In reality, if they had only obeyed the caution lights, they might have avoided the pile up their life has become.

Instead of looking at the Bible as a check off list of good and bad, why not look at it as a whole and give yourself some margin on the “road of life.”  God gives you time and fair warning of what is ahead.  You have only yourself to blame if you try to beat the light and fail.
Don’t be deceived: God is not mocked. For whatever a person sows he will also reap, because the one who sows to his flesh will reap destruction from the flesh, but the one who sows to the Spirit will reap eternal life from the Spirit.  Galatians 6:7-8

Serving the Savior,
Bro. Jonathan  

No Comments





no tags