Grace and the Road WarriorPosted: August 24, 2012
After just having been cut off by a man wearing a suit and driving a luxury sedan, a mom in a faded green mini van pulls up beside me and turns on her blinker. I realize her intentions are to get in front of me so that she can make the next light.
She’s too busy talking on her bluetooth and managing a handful of kids to acknowledge that I exist. In the back of my mind I wonder if she’ll be grateful if I let her in.
There used to be a time when drivers would give you the courtesy wave when you let them into the lane in front of you. It was always expected that they would genuinely appreciate the fact that you have freely given them that space and that they would be grateful for your sacrifice.
But for whatever the reason, those days of the friendly wave are gone.
I have to shamefully admit one of my many flaws. I suffer from mild road rage. It upsets me when I let someone in front of me and the don’t acknowledge my friendliness. Something flips in my mind and I become less like Stewart and more like Mad Max.
For a short time, I decided that I wouldn’t let people in front of me anymore. I had to protect that space in front of me like it was the last of a precious commodity. Everybody wanted it and they would do anything to get it.
In my mind the road to work became a post-apocalyptic, desert highway and the others on this road were bandits trying to steal my space. No longer were they moms driving mini vans or business men driving luxury sedans. They were wild renegades with feathery mohawks and face paint who would stop at nothing to get my space.
My little, silver Mitsubishi became a 1973 GT Ford Falcon with all the bells and whistles. It has thick tires and a big engine that pops out of the hood. It has secret compartments that hide weapons like crossbows and sawed off shotguns. I sit in the drivers seat with a black leather jacket and a scowl.
The bandits try to shoot my tires out but I swerve and weave and narrowly avoid drifting off into a ravine but my Ford Falcon is swift and powerful. The bandits growl at me and wonder who I am and where I’m from. I glare back at them over my dark sunglasses and they see it in my eyes.
Me Max and this space in front of me is mine mate.
But then something hits me. I come out of this fantasy and realize how foolish I’m being. This isn’t my road. That space in front of me isn’t mine either. It never belonged to me.
The thing that hit me was grace. Grace is love and mercy. I don’t deserve it and I can’t earn it but God gives it freely. Grace is the thing that sets us apart from the rest of the world.
Max does not show grace but God does. Max is not merciful but God is. And if God shows grace and mercy then so should Stewart.
I realized that even in the smallest things we can show grace. At home, at work and even in traffic.
So the mom in the mini van keeps her blinker on and chats away on her bluetooth while handing out fruit roll ups. I let off the gas to give her space. She moves in front of me and I wait for the wave but it never comes.
But that’s ok. Remembering all the times that God has shown me grace, I glare at her through my sunglasses and let it go. And then I think to myself:
I’m Stewart and this space in front of me is yours.