How to Show Love...

In Traffic

By Kersley Fitzgerald

We were headed north on I-5 from Portland to Joint Base Lewis-McChord to spend the night before we flew back home. Dev was driving and passed a truck. A few moments after we were safely ensconced back in the right lane, we saw the lights. Apparently, the truck had blocked a lower speed limit sign. But the officer looked at Dev's license and said, "You're from Colorado? My aunt's from Colorado. You guys drive like maniacs! We don't speed like that here. Go the limit."

Dev got off with a warning, but it illustrated what we already suspected — Colorado drivers are some of the worst. We speed. We pull out in front of people. We're incapable of merging gracefully. You remember the line from Starman — "Red light stop, green light go, yellow light go very fast"? In Colorado it's more, "Green light go, yellow light go very fast, red light punch it!"

It can be stressful (especially in Denver), and we're not looking forward to teaching JT how to drive in this mess. But all the driving drama is causing me to take very deliberate steps to not add to the chaos.

Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity! Psalm 133:1

It started a few years ago when I had a sudden epiphany: everyone on the road was going somewhere and it would make things a lot nicer if we all recognized that and helped each other along the way. What on earth is the point of tail-gating so that someone else can't merge or change lanes? If we let someone in, usually the worst that can happen is that we miss a light. How is this too much to pay to show someone courtesy?

...whoever makes haste with his feet misses his way. Proverbs 19:2b

Maybe a year ago, I came upon a road construction crew working in an area that was not well controlled. For one thing, there were no speed zone signs. For another, they'd closed off two lanes instead of one and had very poor notifications. I was going as fast as everyone else when I hit a traffic drum. Shortly after, I realized that I make the most mistakes when I'm in a hurry. The solution is to not be in a hurry. At least, to make safe driving a higher priority than being in a hurry. When I'm in a hurry, I get anxious. I speed too much. I'm more likely to cut someone off. When I'm relaxed, I let people in, wait for a clear spot, and don't run into traffic drums.

Be not quick in your spirit to become angry, for anger lodges in the bosom of fools. Ecclesiastes 7:9

You know how you don't realize your attitude until your kids start mimicking you? Yeah. JT is developing a habit of getting ticked off when someone cuts us off. Of course, he thinks someone is "cutting us off" when they change into our lane 200 yards in front of us. But it made me realize how much I get upset over nothing. There are safety issues, and then there's just being ticked off because someone is breaking the law in a way that doesn't affect me at all. My pet peeve is when people jump lanes or turn from the wrong lane instead of going around the block. But unless they sideswipe me, does it really matter? Is it really worth it to get all mad? Probably not. Yeah, they're adding to the crazy traffic problem, but I have a limited amount of emotional energy, and I don't have enough to waste it on a stranger with poor driving habits.

In Hawaii, they have bumper stickers that say "Drive Aloha." Honolulu has traffic jams that make downtown Denver look like the Daytona Speedway. But people know they're on an island and that they'll get to their destination eventually. Most locals are chill. They'll let you in, not ride your bumper, and wouldn't think of honking for no reason. I want to drive like that. Not just obeying the laws, but driving with a loving attitude.

Image Credit: nile; untitled; Creative Commons

TagsBiblical-Truth  | Christian-Life  | Personal-Relationships  | Sin-Evil

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Published 4-24-17