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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."


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