My 15 yr old is taking drivers Ed. He comes home pretty much daily and tells me the horror stories about all the possible ways to die in a car crash. Getting his license doesn’t seem so pressing anymore. We do a lot of quizzing as we are driving around town to prepare for his final exam. One of my very favorite traffic laws is that you can turn left on a red light if you are turning FROM a one way street TO a one-way street. This comes in very handy in my hometown where there are way too many one-way streets. Sadly, I think about half of the driving population missed this one on their test because they just SIT there, waiting for the light to change. Grrrr. I also like to point out all the ways that my son can be a courteous driver. For example, if you are not turning, do NOT sit at a red light in the right hand lane and block all the cars behind you who could turn right if you weren’t in my way!!! Oh, I mean, their way. It just so happens that I experienced such a scenario this morning. And here’s what I said out loud to that driver (who couldn’t hear me anyway): “Idiot!”. It was a very hostile “Idiot!”. Because I and 4 other cars had to sit there for a whole extra minute while that driver just sat their waiting for the light to change.
Almost as soon as I said that mean word out loud, I took it back. I took it back because God reminded me of one specific time when I was so upset that I pulled out in front of a car going about 55 on the highway and almost caused a large accident. I actually had to pull over to the side of the road to recover and cry. I am a very conscientious driver, but occasionally I space out and do stupid things like sit in that right hand lane and block traffic. When I realize what I have done I feel like jumping out of my car and apologizing for being so clueless! But 9 out 10 times, the reason I sit there like a ding-dong, is because I am distressed or hurting. I am distracted by something bad happening in my life and can’t seem to focus on being the safe and polite driver I like to be. These were all my thoughts as I took back my “Idiot” attitude and replaced it with a prayer: “God, please give that person peace, and comfort them if they are in pain or struggling to just make it through the day. Amen.” I think of the times people wanted to just give me the finger because of my poor driving or other dumb things I do or say when I am battling the demons in my head and heart. This life is hard, people. Personally, I need a lot of grace, and we tend to get what we give. Next time you want to dish out angry words to people who annoy you-for any reason-try talking to God instead. Ask Him to give them all the good things in their life that you want in yours. Things like healing and grace and forgiveness and comfort. That’s a “win-win” prayer.