For those of you who have sat shotgun in my car, or who’ve talked with me on the phone while I am driving, odds are good that you’ve seen or heard my impatience with people in action. I confess — both in those moments and now — that loving people from behind the wheel of a moving vehicle kind of has been a challenge since my driving instructor Walter and I walked out of the DMV the day I got my license nine years ago.
Pretty immediately, I traded in phrases like, “Seatbelt? Buckled.” and “Hands at 10 and 2? Check.” (I know — nerdbomber!) for ones like, “Is this person kidding me?,” “How does this person sleep at night?” and “Dude, pick a lane!”
How easy it is to hurl harsh words when I refuse to acknowledge that behind the wheel inside the bubble that is the car moving at 35 in a 55 …is a person.
A person deliberately created by the same God who deliberately created each of us.
A person Jesus says I should treat in the way I wish to be treated (“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you …” [from the book of Matthew]).
A neighbor I have been instructed to love (also from the book of Matthew).
Maybe, when another driver’s decision doesn’t cater to me, I can say thanks to God for keeping us safe instead of shouting. I can say, “Everybody makes mistakes.” instead of judging. I can choose to love.