Keep Moving, Merge Later

Courtesy of Connecticut DOTAt a major intersection in the Kansas City metro area, drivers making right turns do so without stopping. At the point where the normal inclination is to yield to traffic, a sign instructs otherwise: “Keep Moving, Merge Later.” There’s unexpected wisdom for life in this guidance from the Kansas Department of Transportation.

“Does not wisdom call out? … On the heights along the way, where the paths meet, she takes her stand, … Listen, for I have worthy things to say;” [Proverbs 8:1-2, 6]

My take on the message is to keep going and figure it out later when on a long, difficult trip. Ignore the impulse to stop and wait for conditions to be perfect, keep moving forward along the path immediately in front of you and the opportunity to move back into mainstream life will happen in good time. Don’t be concerned about what other people are doing and what lanes they are traveling. Keep the focus on what you’re doing.

Keep moving, merge later.

When faced with the harsher realities of life, it can be a sign of strength to quietly bear one’s grief, disappointment, or even heartache. Often we and our lives come to a complete stop. We may need privacy for a time in order to come to grips with our experience. Stillness nurtures that.

“Many of us could tirelessly deal with our grief if only we were allowed to do so in private,” as it says in my favorite little book, Streams in the Desert.

Perhaps the Kansas DOT was inspired by Winston Churchill who is quoted as saying, “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” Not that Kansas is hell, although current extreme heat makes it a close approximation. Streams advice falls in line:

“Yet what is so difficult is that most of us are called to exercise our patience … in the open street, for all to see. We are called to bury our sorrows not in restful inactivity but in active service — in our workplace, while shopping, and during our social activities — contributing to other people’s joy.”

The challenge is to keep living every day as if one’s life were not upside down and inside out. The current experience is but a part of a greater story. Our role in our families and communities continues, even though there may be temporary but necessary adjustments. Life continues.

Keep moving, merge later.


  1. What a great observation. It is hard to keep moving when one would rather grieve. I struggle with this but understand that many of us are on a similar path. We must get beyond the immediate hardship and the best way to do so is to move onward.

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