Skip to main content

Aggressive Drivers

The music was playing softly in the background as the lines on the pavement rhythmically passed my field of vision.  My mind wandered as my hands struck the steering wheel to the beat of the christian radio station.  There was a smile on my face, it had been a good day.  I had accomplished a lot and felt a sense of pride.  I looked forward to dinner at home with my wife.  All that positivity would dissolve into subdued road rage in a matter of seconds though...

One of the two lanes ahead was blocked by cars that always parked by the curb.  People worked together to prepare by systematically merging.  Every other car left room for the car next to them to merge over.  In these moment you remember the humanity of your fellow drivers as they treat each other the way they would want to be treated, we work together and we all move faster because of it.

As we approach the intersection, where you can clearly see the cars blocking the lane ahead, the right lane is already completely empty of cars.  We have succeeded in merging over in peace and without interfering with the flow of traffic.  It is in this moment that I hear the revving of an engine coming from behind me. 

Someone from 10-15 cars back has jumped into the open lane and speeds past everyone, plowing towards the cars blocking their lane at full speed.  If everyone in my lane continued as they were this person would have to stop and wait for someone to let them over.  It would serve them right to have to wait for the whole lane to empty before they could get over.

Negative thoughts flooded my brain as I watched this happen, but none of the thoughts against this driver compared to the emotion that flooded me as the person in front of me created room for this person to get into our lane.  My composure remained, but internally I raged!  Why did you let them over?  It would have served them right to have to stop and wait.  Who do they think they are getting to jump to the front of the line?  They are just taking advantage of the generosity of people!

As these loud thoughts flooded my mind, it was a much softer, quieter voice that stunned me.  "Give to those who ask, and do not turn them away". As those words sunk in, everything else got quiet.  My "self" resisted for only a moment, and futile argument not worthy of a response "oh, that was only talking about giving people stuff..." the thought trailed off because in rang hollow.  My mind submitted to this softer quiet voice, the master had spoken, and now I had to deal with looking at myself.  I mean really looking... 

Here was this driver who was asking to borrow our time and space.  I had no idea why they wanted it.  They could just be a jerk, or they could be rushing to the hospital.  I was having a good day, feeling accomplished and I was ready to let this little thing ruin it.  What did it cost me?  3-5 seconds added to my arrival time?  A bit of energy to tap on my brake? Given the cheap cost, how little of a benefit would it need to be to this driver to justify the cost to me?  Almost nothing...yet here I am feeling like a victim of theft and violence. 

God have mercy on me, I still don't get it.  I fail to love despite the love you have given me.  I fail to show forgiveness and grace, despite all you have looked over in me.  May I slow down and really love my brothers and sisters on this earth

Matthew 5:40-42
"If someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well; and if someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you."


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Divine | Shame | Humans

Shame is often the only thing between our creator and us. Our reading this week is from Job 14:5-6: A person’s days are determined;      you have decreed the number of his months      and have set limits he cannot exceed. So look away from him and let him alone,      till he has put in his time like a hired laborer. Job is struggling with shame and judgement.  He is wondering why God is spending time paying attention to him, a tiny speck in the great universe, a blink of an eye in all eternity.  Why would God waste time casting a glance at us, let alone fostering us, raising us, and disciplining us?  He cries out "Why won't God just let us be, to live out our miserable existence?" A friend shared a post with me on Facebook this week.  It was a video of her dog who had stolen her donut.  The dog had been under the bed for two hours before she started the video.  The video begins with a clear view of the dog and the uneaten donut under the bed.  The dog casts glances from s

Justice & Privilege

The narrative lectionary reading for this week begins a 5 week series on the book of Job.  We focus on Job 1:1-12.  This first section sets the background for the parable.  It is important to note that this is clearly a parable, not a historical text.  This means we must look beyond the described events and towards a deeper meaning within the text.   The story goes like this: ___ There was once a man who thought he was good, an upright citizen, a religiously devout man.  He made good choices and avoided all forms of evil.  He was so pious that he made sacrifices in the name of his family members in case they had unknowingly sinned.  He had great wealth and privilege, and so this was evidence of his goodness.   God was so pleased with this great man, named Job, that he bragged about him to the accuser.  The accuser objected "Of course Job is good, you have provided him with wealth, power, and protection. He would curse you if he was not so privileged."  At this, God takes the

Fool for Christ

Our reading from the Narrative Lectionary this week is 2 Corinthians 5.  Verse 13 stood out to me. If it seems we are crazy, it is to bring glory to God. - 2 Corinthians 5:13a (NLT) John Wimber, the founder of the Vineyard churches did a famous sermon called "I am a fool for Christ, whose fool are you?".  Reading this week's text reminded me of this wonderful sermon.  Wimber's sermon reminds us that, as christians, we are called to something truly radical.  The christian walk is strange and counter cultural.  Jesus once explained this to his disciples in John 15 "If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. You don't belong to this world, I have chosen you out of it.  That is why the world hates you."   Peter, in a letter to the church, later referred to all of us as strangers just passing through this world.   Do you feel like a stranger?  Do you feel like the world hates you?  Are you a fool for Christ? Here is the thing, you are going t