Saturday, August 28, 2010

Road Rage?

This morning as I was stopped at the 42nd & Center intersection, I heard a car door slam.  I looked around and all of a sudden there was a guy screaming at the top of his lungs at another young man in a van stopped next to me.  Something about pulling out in front of him (he wasn't even driving - his girlfriend was, this guy had gotten out of the passenger side of the car behind me), yada, yada, yada.

The young man in the van was smart enough to not react, he didn't even roll down his window.  The car that was in front of him was trying to make a right hand turn so as to give him space if he needed to bolt, depending on whether the idiot in the street attempted violence.  All of us were shocked at this unexpected outburst of rage. I hadn't seen anything happen, but who knows ... I probably missed it.

That kind of public anger absolutely floors me.  I don't know what to do with it or how to handle it.

I saw road rage one other time in a parking lot when a car cut off a bicyclist so that the driver of the car could scream in the bicyclist's face about some sort of perceived error that had been made.  I was right there and so floored by the outburst I couldn't process quickly enough on what I could do that wouldn't further inflame the situation. 

The light changed, the crazy man got back in his girlfriend's car and everyone drove their separate ways today.  I drove away trying to dream up any type of response on my part that could have defused the situation and I was also trying to imagine what I would do if someone came at me with that kind of fury.  I have absolutely no idea.

As Christians we talk a lot about random acts of kindness in the world and trying our best to show the world what Christ is like.  I am disgusted when I see Christians act like jerks in restaurants and other public places, but the reality is, we live in an environment filled with sadness, sickness, and sometimes just plain evil.  We can't actually fix it.

You know what?  We don't have to.  It's not our job to fix the world. 

It is, however, our job to be the people that God calls us to be in the world.  I can't necessarily do anything about the young man who exploded with vitriol at 42nd and Center Street today, but I can ensure that my behavior in the world, among the rest of God's children brings Him honor and glory.

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