Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Driving Habits

A woman was being tailgated by a stressed out man on a busy boulevard. Suddenly, the light turned yellow, just in front of her. She did the right thing, stopping at the crosswalk, even though she could have beaten the red light by accelerating through the intersection.
The tailgating man hit the roof and the horn, screaming and swearing out the window, yelling threats and insults at the woman in front of him because he missed his chance to get through the intersection. He was still ranting when he heard a tap on his window and looked up into the face of a very serious police officer.
The officer ordered him out of the car with his hands up. He took the man to the police station where he was searched, finger printed, photographed, and placed in a holding cell. After a couple of hours, a policeman approached the cell and opened the door. The man was escorted back to the booking desk where the arresting officer was waiting with his personal effects.
"I'm very sorry for this mistake," said the officer. "You see, I pulled up behind your car while you were blowing your horn and swearing at the woman in front of you. I had noticed the 'Choose Life' license plate holder on your car, the 'What Would Jesus Do' bumper sticker, the 'Follow Me to Sunday-School' bumper sticker, and the chrome-plated Christian fish emblem on the trunk. So, naturally, I assumed you had stolen the car."
From Ralph Milton's RUMORS, a free Internet e-zine for Christians with a sense of humor.

I don't know whether the moral of the story is not to have bumper stickers, or perhaps ... to watch our driving habits.
I find that in a crowded grocery store where I can still smile at someone who is trying to push a cart through me, it seems to help lighten the mood and remind people of common courtesy. (I went to the grocery store at prime time this week.) But in a car, it's as if we're in our own little bubble, and we think we can do anything. I do still look for the little thank you waves from car to car and try to give them as people let me through, but the kind of behavior described in this joke is not so unusual. Why is that?

A good friend of mine was in a car accident recently and fortunately is okay, although the other driver's car was totaled and hers needs major repairs. Could a smile and a little less rushing have made the difference? Something for all of us to think about as we drive, maybe especially as we drive home from church or to work ... :-)

I am remembering the son of a colleague at work was called by one of his friends two years ago this weekend to the scene of an accident where 5 of his friends had been drinking and then were driving at 85 mph down at 40 mph road and rammed into a tree--two killed, one in a coma, other two thrown clear. He could have been there if he hadn't been at work. And he got to identify the bodies.

Something for us all to pray about as we drive, particularly as we go out this coming long weekend.

Take it easy out there. Drive carefully and prayerfully too.