Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will grant you his blessing.” 1 Peter 3:9

Driving in Southern California is something that can turn a great day, into “let’s hope I don’t get arrested” situation. I just want to get to where I need to be with my family without feeling like our lives are going to be lost, whether it is from a dangerous driver or a road rage filled driver. There was an instance when my father needed to get a pre-operative physical and I was the only one who could take him to the doctor. I had to drop my child off for someone to watch and pick up my father and take him to his doctor. It was at a time during the day where, everyone was going somewhere. I was trying to get around a car and a woman cut me off and caused us to miss a light. I remembered I didn’t have any stickers on my car that showed I represented Jesus, so I proceeded to give her the “one finger salute”. Actually I showed her I had the ability to give her two salutes. She just laughed. As we continued down the street and every opportunity I had to get around her, she purposely cut me off and would slow down to have me slam on my brakes. I felt like I was in a moment of hysteria. Then, my daughter began to cry in the back seat. She told me she was scared. I began to cry. I was embarrassed that I didn’t let it go the first time. I apologized to her, took a deep breath, and drove the speed limit to where we needed to go.

I tried to let things go more when I drive now and to use my horn instead of my finger when necessary. I talked to a person about the situation and how much it bothered me. He said, sometimes, you need to think about that person’s situation and pray for them. That has helped me. A few weeks after that conversation, I was reading a blog post from writer Ann Voskamp. She mentioned an encounter she had with a farmer in Israel. She was helping this farmer replant trees in his orchard because he had all of his trees cut down by his neighbor. I am sure any of us would be huffing puffing mad. I assume she asked what did he do to get justice. But he answered her, “I refuse to be enemies with anyone.” I felt conviction and surprisingly, peace in that statement. I felt it was the Lord telling me I need to apply this when dealing with conflict, especially something as trivial as driving. We all have bad days and fly off the handle because of our circumstances. I think most of us, want to drive calmly and safely or to accomplish other tasks throughout the day this way. It just isn’t worth the conflict or become someone’s enemy. I do not advise to become the world’s doormat. We need boundaries and to be assertive when things are bothersome. I have learned we are all going through tough times in life and people’s foul actions are to be forgiven, just as God would forgive us.

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for helping me to recognize that we all struggle. Help me let go of the trivial and not begin a conflict that is not worth starting. I pray for protection over my emotions and feelings. I thank you for loving me despite my anger and rage. I thank you for forgiving me, when I do act out. Help me to have your thoughts for others. In Jesus’ Name. AMEN!”