Mrs. Lilly, 3rd grade teacher at a Christian school, sat in the cafeteria and overheard two 1st graders chatting about another teacher.
Her attention riveted to them when one child said, "My teacher drove me home yesterday and I heard her say a bad word."
"Oooo. What did she say?"
"The I word."
"The I word? I know the D word but I don't think I know the I word. What is it?"
Leaning in closer, she whispered, "Idiot! She said it to the man in the other car."
Ever notice that drivers slower than you are jerks and those who zoom past and cut you off are idiots?
Recently I found myself behind a jerk and instantly became an idiot myself. Within mere seconds I felt frustration fuel impatience and suddenly ignite into anger. This wasn't my usual driving experience and I had no reason to hurry. So why was I driving like a NASCAR racer? Control. Isolation. Selfishness. All the ingredients for road rage come standard with POWER steering. Such combos have actually resulted in death.
Now of course we would never take it that far but the seed of frenzied driving can sprout up in us anytime. When I felt it, I immediately had one thought, "How would Jesus drive?" It was a hard question to force myself to ask, but the answers were easy. I took every impulse through that thought all the way to Curves and then back home.
* I immediately slowed down to the speed limit.
* I moved over into the slow lane. Me! In the slow lane.
* I stopped changing lanes trying to find the fastest moving one.
* When someone wanted to merge, I smiled and waved him in.
* I stopped on the yellow light, instead of accelerating. The car behind me honked so I turned around, waved (with all five fingers) smiled and shrugged.
* I gave up the best parking space to another driver. We exchanged friendly smiles and nods.
* On the way home I thought, "Jesus would probably use this time to talk to His Father." So I prayed. I even found myself praying for other idiots and a few jerks.
* My tension melted into peace. My racing changed to relaxation. My breathing and heart rate slowed to a comfortable, not driven, pace.
* I arrived home in the same amount of time but at a totally different place.
* Probably even saved a little gas!
That little self-imposed driving lesson revealed some things to me about me. Areas I might have said, "Yeah. God's dealt with that issue. . ." once again find dormant roots and rear up. Seems that driver's seat behind the wheel is fertile ground. Little remnant sin-weeds of selfishness, impatience, disobedience, control and anger easily sprung up.
I find it much easier to let someone ahead of me in the grocery line than on the road. Why? Maybe because face-to-face I want your approval. The anonymity in my car might be a smokescreen for my real heart. If character is what we do when no one's looking, the car may be the true test.
The measuring stick of my character might come down to simple math. The speed limit is 45. So I set my cruise on 50 because that's a safe number to prevent a ticket. Right? Wrong! It's breaking the law by 5 mph. HWJD? Ouch!
Hm-mmm. . .me and God got some more work to do. Sanctification is an on-growing process.
Maybe one day in heaven, speed and time won't be a temptation. Jesus transcended time and space in His glorified body, after the resurrection. I surely do hope my new beam-me-up-Scotty-body will instantaneously get me from one place to another one day. One day!
Sometimes knowing WWJD might be foggy but while driving (HWJD) my choices were crystal clear at every junction. I challenge you to this litmus test of your spirituality.
Lord, help me to drive in the Spirit, and in so doing, truly walk in the Spirit.
A little less driven,