Monthly Archives: July 2010

Frustrated at Traffic? or Just Frustrated?

Move Over!
Move Over!

The answer is yes.  I am frustrated.  For me, my level of frustration at traffic is a good barometer of my overall mood.

I just got back from a trip to Phoenix.  Interstate 10 most of the way and that’s where my frustration begins.  Or is it?  I have to say that there isn’t a stretch of Interstate anywhere that I know of where that many people purposefully camp out in the left lane.  The speed limit is 75 through most of that stretch and most of the folks going 65 or 70 do hang out in the right lane.  However there are exceptions.  There are also a surplus of folk who go 74 and refuse to move into the right lane when faster cars approach them from the rear.  What is going on there?  Did their folks teach them wrong or not at all?  Are they too lazy to actually engage in the driving process?  Too lazy to actually change lanes as road conditions and traffic warrant?  It not only annoys me, but it’s dangerous!

EVERY time I drive to Phoenix I get annoyed with this bad driving behavior.  However, there is more going on here.  Many times, I am able to set aside my disgust and/or anger and cut the obviously bad drives some slack.  Maybe they weren’t taught by good driving parents like I was.  My Dad is a fantastic example of how to drive correctly, especially on cross country drives on the interstate.  Perhaps they don’t know any better.  (of course the signs that read, “Slow Traffic Keep Right” could be a helpful hint, but I digress)

In the Bible Paul talks about helping out our brothers with weaker faith.  Romans 14:1-3

1Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters. 2One man’s faith allows him to eat everything, but another man, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. 3The man who eats everything must not look down on him who does not, and the man who does not eat everything must not condemn the man who does, for God has accepted him.

Driving and eating meat aren’t exactly the same, but hopefully I am drawing the connection for you.  In Christianity, we accept our brothers and sisters who might have weaker faith and don’t pass judgment.  On the highway, when I am in the proper mood, I don’t pass judgment on poorer drivers because I figure they are just clueless and it’s not really their fault.

When I am in a bad mood, for whatever reason, I have a much harder time cutting slack.  It’s a good barometer for me.  Good mood, my gift of mercy is fully functional.  Bad mood, I struggle.

The solution lies in me.  These other drivers aren’t likely to change.  (I may still launch a Public Service Announcement campaign)  The answer lies within.  I gotta maintain the attitude of mercy.  Just because you (not you.  the proverbial you) can’t drive doesn’t mean I’m gonna let it ruin my night!  I will pray that God helps you because obviously you don’t have good driving examples in your life.  That shouldn’t make me mad.  It should, and does, make me sad :-(