Saturday, August 23, 2008

Stupid Driver?

Yesterday, as I was driving, a driver pulled out in front of me, entering the roadway from a highschool driveway. There was ample distance for safety, but the car accelerated very slowly causing me to reduce my speed considerably. The driver never accelerated to the posted speed limit but remained ten miles per hour below the speed limit. After the next intersection the same thing occurred, very slowly accelerating to forty-five miles per hour in a fifty-five mile per hour zone.

Frustration arose within me very quickly. I began to think, ”Come on! What are you doing? What’s wrong with you? Can’t you find the accelerator pedal? Can’t you push it down?”

Then my heart was turned so that I began thinking of the other person. Suddenly I began to think that there could be a reason for the person driving like this. My frustration evaporated.

I began to think, “Hmm. I wonder. Could this be a young teenage driver just learning to drive? Could this person be exercising caution? The car did exit from a highschool.”

At the next intersection the car turned left and I could see in the driver’s side mirror a very young and tender face, the face of a very young girl. Her face was brimming with a smile that melted my heart and I knew that indeed this was a young driver whom Dad or Mom was letting drive the car to get the experience needed to become a safe driver.

I was happy for this young driver and I was happy to realize that she was being careful. I was glad that the Holy Spirit took hold of my selfish heart and turned it away from my anxious and frustrated thoughts toward what could be the needs of the other person. I marveled that God’s power could work so quickly in me to change my thoughts.

Stupid driver? More and more as I drive, with the many crazy things that people do on the roads, I find myself thinking “Stupid Driver!” But then the Holy Spirit takes hold of my heart and mind and I realize that I am the stupid driver when I let these things rule over my heart and mind and to steal God’s peace from me.

When the Holy Spirit works this miracle and brings me again to His repentance, all that remains for me to do is to give thanks and to rejoice in God’s goodness. Then peace again rules my heart and mind in Christ Jesus. Truly the Lord is good and His mercy endures forever. Amen.

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