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Road rage and me getting over my bad self

Sometimes, people look at me and think I’m really something.  They read the blogs or see the ministries and they think I’m in some kind of exalted class of human being.  And, truth be told, I want to join them.  I like to think that I’m not only especially civilized, but impervious…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes
Sometimes, people look at me and think I’m really something.  They read the blogs or see the ministries and they think I’m in some kind of exalted class of human being.  And, truth be told, I want to join them.  I like to think that I’m not only especially civilized, but impervious to the kind of normal temptations and pain that humans have to struggle with.  And it’s usually then that God lets me experience some humbling experience to help me get over my bad self. 
For example, today I’m driving to the airport to fly to Colorado.  Consider the kind of road rage that you sometimes see out on I-85, heading towards Atlanta. I was reading Joe Bunting’s blog on the subject and remembered the time I was just as stupid as anyone driving around out there.

It was 1986 and I was going from D.C. to Charlottesville.  I pulled out to pass this line of cars at a normal passing rate of speed and this other guy raced up behind me and sat tailgating on my bumper, flashing his lights and making a nuisance of himself.  There was nothing to be done but finish passing up the cars and pull into the right lane.  At which point Mr. Maniac Driver zoomed passed me, flipping me off as he did so.

He must have been doing 90 mph in a 55 zone and quickly disappeared over the horizon.  The whole incident left me peeved and thinking dark thoughts of revenge.

Imagine my delight when several miles later I spotted a cop car up ahead with his lights going. Who did he have pulled over but Mr. MD.  “Ha!” I said to myself, “You got what was coming to you!”

And as I pulled alongside them, I slowed and yelled out encouragement to the cop, “Way to go! That guy is a crazy driver – throw the book at him!”

I continued to drive along, smugly thinking to myself how justice had been done.  Then, suddenly it occurred to me.  What if Mr. MD had a gun?  What would he do after the cop was finished writing him a ticket?  His first thought would be to track down the turkey that yelled to the cop.  I would be toast.

Panicky thoughts began entering my mind and my foot began weighing heavier on the accelerator.  Pretty soon I was zooming along at 75 mph and looking worriedly in my rear view mirror.  The minutes dragged by. Sweat was on my brow – what an ignominious way to die!

I was never so glad to enter the Charlottesville city limits…
As I drive down I-85 this morning, I’d like to say I’ve learned my lesson, but it’s amazing how little it takes to set me off.  Cut in front of me, and I might just go Mad Max on you.  I guess it’s as good an apologetic as I’ve got for man’s original sin nature.

Comments (7)

  • Been there, done that. I’ve definitely been on both sides of the road rager coin (just ask my wife). The problem I have now is my new car doesn’t have cruise control, so I can’t just set it and relax…it slowly gets faster and faster. The spedometer is also off (I checked against a roadside speed meter). Maybe instead of checking your finances to see how your spiritual life is, we should change to checking our driving!

  • Based on your experiences, I strongly recommend you avoid driving in DFW. You will stay much closer to the exalted class if you do!

  • Confession is good for the soul… Some years ago, many! I was driving down the countryside road with my wife Debbie singing worship songs with the radio. Well…all of a sudden an elderly lady who must have been 100 years old by her looks – cuts right out in front of me. I got so angry at this old lady that I shook my fist at her…obviously scaring her half to death. Well, my beautiful wife…shook more than a fist at me when in the spirit’s love language of correction she rebuked me! Of course I tried to be real spiritual, real fast to cover my sin. She would have nothing of it! So to make matters worse…worship songs of Christian love to God’s creation were playing sweetly in the background. Somehow the AC did not work well in the car and it got real hot on the back of my neck….sweat pouring down on me. My wife just kept singing songs of Christ’s love…I think one of the songs was “..they will know we are Christians by our love, by our love..”

  • i got my first ticket driving home from asking ashley’s dad’s permission to propose. i was so excited to get home, but i kept hearing a voice telling me to slow down. when i got the ticket, i heard the Lord loud and clear: “I want you to be obedient… even in this.”

  • Oh yes, it’s amazing to me how quickly I can go from hands raised in worship…filled with the Spirit and the love of Christ to wanting to run someone off the road for cutting me off and then getting mad at me!

    I hate the flesh.. 🙂

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.

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