A lot of my life lessons and spiritual refining happen while I am driving.
The other morning I was heading to work on the four lane road across town. The speed limit is 55 leaving our area, but slows in increments of 5 miles per hour fairly quickly and reaches 35 in about 2 miles.
I knew I would need to get in the left lane and traffic was fairly steady, so I slowed a little early and checked the mirror to merge as I turned on my signal.
The vehicle behind me was already moving pretty fast so when I slowed down a bit, it swerved out and around me.
After that display of power, I was clear to get in the left lane, so I moved over.
We arrived at the first stop light side by side. When the light changed, both lanes of traffic ahead of us were obeying the decreasing speed signs and so this car was stuck between the cars ahead of him and me next to him…all going the speed limit.
He was neatly cradled amongst all of us law-abiding citizens for several blocks before I would have to make my turn.
I was feeling pretty good about the whole thing.
I hadn’t lost my temper or even felt a slight rise in blood pressure.
But someone I know recently got burned by one of these drivers who swerve in and out of traffic around people who are going the speed limit and it was kind of personal.
So I have to admit, I was pretty tickled that the now-delayed driver was probably having a fit.
And in just that quick of time when I was about to giggle, that still small voice in me pointed out that I was enjoying this situation too much.
I spoke to the little voice and pointed out that I hadn’t gotten upset with the driver. I didn’t wish harm or a speed trap to catch him (if it was a him…I was enjoying it but not enough to actually look over in the car next to me) and I hadn’t even felt the slightest temptation to call him the names my father had taught me for such situations…
The little voice just calmly repeated that I was obviously finding waaaaay too much glee over the whole thing.
The little voice was right. Doggone it.
As I moved into the turn lane, I watched the freed captive swerve out of the penalty box and get his (or her) show on the road.
Then I put what I believe to action and I asked God to forgive me for that part of me that still wants to seek revenge by being happy when someone who has wronged me gets what’s coming to them.
In simple terms, I confessed that I still felt happy in an extremely un-grace-filled way when I thought of how aggravated that driver must have been being forced to go the speed limit and I asked forgiveness for such meanness of spirit and I asked for more of His work in me to make me kind, because He is kind.
I want my heart to mirror God’s heart and He says in Ezekiel 33:11 that He takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but desires that they would turn from their ways and live. Or in my case, He takes no pleasure when someone who has acted like a jerk gets stuck going the speed limit but desires that he/she drive courteously so that other drivers feel safe.
Even in the little things, we must be diligent to heed that little voice and examine the motives of our actions to see if they are in line with the heart of God <3