Stanley uses Atlanta's "spaghetti junction" as a great analogy. The intersection of Interstates 285 and 85, "spaghetti junction" is a massive commingling of roads, with overpasses and underpasses. Ideally, traffic enters at highway speed, smoothly passes through, and leaves at highway speed. When that occurs, drivers are happy. No one wants to stay in "spaghetti junction" any longer than they have to - it is simply a means to an end.
But, when there is a major traffic jam or a car accident of some sort, the process of going through "spaghetti junction" is ruined. Drivers who have to spend a lot of time in "spaghetti junction" grow impatient, stressed, angry.
Our hearts are like "spaghetti junction." All of our experiences, positive and negative, should pass through. If there are a lot of unresolved issues in our hearts, they act like a traffic jam. As more negative experiences enter our heart, the traffic jam grows. Even positive experiences can contribute to that traffic jam. We become frustrated, bitter, miserable. We have to unclog that traffic jam.
This post was inspired by the book It Came From Within by Andy Stanley.