There is something that has really been bugging me lately. It has always bothered me/stressed me out a little. But I think years of riding with certain people (one of them being a family member) has just built up to now where it really irritates me.

There are stupid drivers in the world. People who either don’t know what they’re doing or don’t care. They swerve in and out of traffic, speed, tailgate you, cut you off, take the right of way, are too far over and close to your lane, etc. The list could go on. There is no end to the stupidity that can happen when a person is behind the wheel of a car. (Which is really scary if you think about it but I choose not to.)

What really bothers me though, more so than the stupid driver, is the people who feel the need to yell at them. Especially when I’m the one driving. Someone yelling, “Learn to drive, a**hole!” does nothing for my nerves after I’ve just had to pull some stunt manuvere to keep from being broadsided. (True story!) Or even if someone doesn’t necessarily put me in danger but they take the right of way or something. It doesn’t usually stress me out or make me mad until another person in the car starts yelling at them. Even then I’m more mad because what they did caused the person to yell at them.

What these people don’t seem to realize is the person driving like an idiot can’t hear them. I’m the one who has to listen to them rant and rave. They also seem to forget that they probably don’t have a perfect driving record. Even if you’re like me and you’ve never gotten a ticket or anything, I’d bet money that you’ve done some stupid things while driving. I know I have!

What also concerns me is the stress these people must live with. Anger is not a happy emotion. It’s stressful. Are there occasions for it? Sure. Righteous anger. But somehow I doubt Jesus meant yelling obsenities at another driver because they made a mistake. So these people live with undue and I’d say maybe even sinful stress/anger. Some of these people I swear are gonna die of a heart attack from the mere fact that every time they get in a car, they end up being ticked off. I really think it can’t be healthy. Not the mention the fact I don’t want to ride with them because I end up being stressed out too, even if my stress is brief. (Because, after all, it’s all about me. 😉 )

They also (if they are a Christian) seem to forget about the verse that says something along the lines of one minute we’re praising God and the next cursing our brother. Out of the same mouth come blessings and curses. Or how about do unto others as you would have done unto you. (“Well, that person didn’t do what I would have done unto me.” This isn’t about them. It’s about you and your attitude.) When I make a mistake or do something dumb, esp. when driving, I want mercy. I want forgiveness. I want understanding. And I’m sure you do to.

In one sense, I can understand the need to yell at them. You feel that an injustice has been done to you. It’s human nature to want retribution in any way possible. I’ve found myself mentally calling them something I shouldn’t or hoping I pass them further up the road and they’ve been pulled over by a cop. But Jesus doesn’t want us to seek or even hope for revenge. He wants us to forgive. Even if the person doesn’t deserve it, doesn’t apologize, or maybe doesn’t even realize they’ve done wrong. Screaming at them, calling them obsenities or giving them the finger does not fall under that category. Instead, if someone cuts me off or takes my right of way, I try to pray for them. I don’t do it every time. Sometimes I’m having a bad day and that’s just the last straw. But instead of yelling and stressing myself out, I pray, “Father, be with that person today. They obviously need protection while they’re in the car. 😉 If they don’t know You, put people in their path (not literally, they’ll probably get run over) who do and can show them Your love. Thank you for creating that person. Please help me to be an example of You, even in the way I drive.” It’s amazing what prayer (and a little humor) can do to help a situation. Instead of stewing about it (I can assure you that the other person has moved on) and letting this stranger determine your mood, you are free to move on as well.

So the next time someone pulls a stunt that you think is stupid, instead of swearing at them or working yourself into a frenzy, offer that person and what you think about them to the Lord. You may even increase your lifespan. 😉