What’s the opposite of Road Rage?

English: Rush hour traffic in Washington, D.C.
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We accept it as normal. Crazy traffic. Rude drivers. Near accidents. BMW’s cutting you off.

I decided to try an experiment. I was in a good mood from some prayer and meditation time so I thought I’d give it a whirl.

When I drove into the parking lot at the mall, I had to be careful of the car riding on my butt (almost in my trunk, yes) so I used my turn signals to drive up and down the rows. Surprisingly, I found a spot right in front of the store! I started to pull into the parking space, and I saw that the woman parked next to me was opening her door to get out, and making a face at me. I put the car into reverse, and waved to her to get out of her car. Her eyes bugged open as she realized I was letting her out, and I was not racing into the spot. She was stunned. She didn’t say “Thank You” but the look on her face was priceless.

And that, my friends is a Christmas Miracle.

Last week, while I was driving down a back road, someone cut me off and proceeded to drive 20 miles under the speed limit. I was at first angry; I was already late to where I was going. But I noticed the out-of-state license plates and figured they might not be familiar with the area. I took a deep breath, and took my foot off the accelerator. The car finally turned. It was then that I realized that the road was slippery, and I was driving too fast for road conditions, and they probably did me a huge favor.

When a teenager cuts me off, and I notice that they are talking on the cell phone (against the law here) I usually get angry. But then I stop and think about their Mom; what if something happened to this kid? The Mom would be heartbroken. So I ask God to tell the kid to hang up–and if they won’t hang up, please protect them. Maybe that’s why they pulled out in front of me.

Years ago, we were driving in icy conditions and were topping out at 15 mph. A car came up behind us, “rode in the trunk” and finally passed us. A few miles later, we saw the car overturned, laying in the middle of the road, upside-down.

I try to remind myself that the car that cut me off has been put there for a reason: maybe they are slowing me down for safety, maybe they are someone who needs prayer and good wishes spoken over them.

So instead of swearing at them (which seems to come naturally)  I try to see the bigger picture. Why has God put this person across my path? For my sake or theirs?

I am a Recovering Road-Rager. I backslide at times, and say words that I won’t print here. But I want to stop road-raging, and that’s the first step.

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